This morning I participated in a very fun event. I serve on the Board of Advisors for the Northfield Area Foundation (NAF). The Board gathered at the Archer House to distribute checks to several community organizations. NAF works to build its financial assets so that community support grants can be awarded from its endowment. This year we were able to award just over $25,000 in grants to a variety of organizations. Anne Mayer is the Board Member coordinating the NAF grants committee….she handed the checks to the representatives of the organizations.
Jane Fenton, Director of Community Relations with Laura Baker Services, was present with Jennifer Paliter to accept $1,160. Laura Baker Services has been providing care for developmentally disabled and fragile people for over 100 years. They were awarded their grant to help support a music therapy program. This type of program will help improve social, cognitive, and physical skills for those participating in the program.
Jeff Eckhoff and Sara Swan-McDonald were there representing Northfield High School. The high school was awarded two grants. A $5,000 grant will fund a portion of the part-time coordinator for the Service Learning program. This program exposes young people to real world learning experiences through the curriculum and community partnerships. The high school was also awarded $2,500 to pay for a portion of the expenses for a day long retreat for 300 ninth graders and 60 junior and senior students to reinforce and improve respect for each other.
Amy Boxrud represented the Northfield Youth Choirs (NYC) in receiving their $1,500 grant. The funds will be used to provide scholarships for students unable to pay the standard Northfield Youth Choir fees. NYC is a wonderful organization that provides choral music education for students in grades 1-12.
Sibley Elementary school was granted $1,500 to help pay for new playground equipment. Julie Pritchard, President of the Sibley Parents-Teachers Organization (PTO), was there to accept the check. She explained that the PTO raised the bulk of the $38,000 equipment cost through a Walk-A-Thon and by being awarded another grant to fight obesity through play.
This gives you a sample of the types of groups that NAF supports. Northfield has a host of organizations that reach out to the community in many different ways. NAF had grant requests for over twice as many dollars as we had available to grant. We are pleased to support these groups and several others.