Six Southern Minnesota Communities Benefit From New Foundation

KEYC News 12 - Six Southern Minnesota Communities Benefit From New Foundation

WELLS, Minn. (KEYC) - The communities of Bricelyn, Easton, Freeborn, Kiester, Walters and Wells are going to be the beneficiaries of the first-ever Our Town USA Community Foundation fund distribution.

"One thing that makes communities really work is having strong civic organizations," said Wells City Administrator CJ Holl. "Anything from the Jaycees to a community foundation like this, you need that type of thing in a small town to really make a small town work."

For the initial donation, each city receives $1,000.

It may not sound like much, but as the foundation becomes more established, donations will grow and each city will benefit more.

Where will that money go?

Most of these small towns have similar ideas.

"Most of the communities want to revitalize Main Street," explained Foundation Chairperson Merrily Burns. "They want to get back to the small town, family oriented activities, painting park equipment for them and activities for teenagers."

The funds aren't limited to activities for kids, however.

"It could be helping out businesses, it could be helping out individual citizens. There is a lot of different uses for that," added Holl.

Trying to improve the quality of life in the area, the foundation wants a chairperson from all six towns so each has a say for how their funds are distributed.

"We find the common theme is to get the communities together, get them working together and revitalizing that energy of a small town community that's so vital to all of us," said Burns.

The original funds came from an anonymous donor and fundraisers such as a chicken wing cook–off.

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