At Chef Fest 2018, Woodbury’s premier event of the season, the Woodbury Community Foundation (WCF) revealed the winners of the 2018 Community Grants. “We are addressing challenges, and fixing our own problems and I think that’s the way to do it. It is neighbors helping neighbors,” said Lori Nelson, WCF Executive Director. “The community grants program is a natural fit for the community foundation.”
The WCF awarded $8,000 to local organizations that are making a difference in our community with programs that are improving the lives of local kids and families. The WCF 2018 Community Grant recipients included: The Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf, Woodbury Public Safety Car Seat Initiative, YMCA Teen Thrives Program and Woodbury High School AVID Program.
The WCF grant to the Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf will help reduce hunger in Woodbury by reaching residents who live in food insecure homes and help reduce stigma. “Our goal is to dismiss all those preconceived notions of what a food shelf is here at the Christian Cupboard, and how the experience is much like visiting a regular grocery store, and pick the food you want to be able to take home with you,” said Greig Metzger, Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf (CCEFS). “The money will be used for a great cause and be able to help us feed more people that need it in our community.”
The WCF awarded a grant to the Woodbury Public Safety that will provide car seats for more than two dozen underserved kids in our community. “Basically we’re just trying to reach families that have a need for car seats and really try to educate our residents about child seat safety and transporting their child safely,” said Officer Ashley Kowarsch, Woodbury Public Safety. “The goal is to reach families that we don’t typically see signing up for our car seats every month. We would like provide them and teach them how to install them safely.”
The WCF awarded a grant to the YMCA Teen Thrives Program to help build healthy teens. “The grant gives us the ability to staff programs at Woodbury Middle School and at Lake Middle School and we’re excited to offer more healthy activities,” said Rigel Bloome, YMCA Day Camp & Outreach Director. “Donations really do change lives of young people in the community, and they allow them to really thrive into the future.”
The WCF grant to the Woodbury High School AVID Program will help diverse students go to college. “Some of our students are first generation Americans, some of our students are first generation college goers, some of an ethnicity underrepresented in the four year old college system, some of these students just appreciate that layer of support to make it to that place they’re dreaming of going,” said Lisa Hyland, Woodbury High School AVID Program. “This grant is going to make it possible for us to get our students on college campuses. It’s going to give them an idea of what their future holds and give them hope!”
WCF gave special consideration to funding nonprofit projects that address one of four strategic focus areas that have been identified by the community as areas of local concern in 2018, including, reducing hunger, expanding youth development and public safety, and improving community health and well-being. Our 2018 grant program is funded by WCF Partner Funds, who each donated three percent of their holdings back to the community for the Grant Program.
For the second year in a row, Woodbury resident and WCCO-TV Chief Meteorologist, Chris Shaffer emceed Chef Fest, and internationally-acclaimed pop musical artist Phil Thompson entertained more than 360 people gathered at the beautifully remodeled Mintahoe Inwood Oaks (former Prom Center in Oakdale) on Sunday, Nov.18. Everyone enjoyed great food served by a dozen top Twin Cities chefs, many with the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
Chef Fest 2018 also recognized Inez Oehlke, a long-time Woodbury resident and historian, who left a generous financial gift to the WCF that’s dedicated to the Woodbury Heritage Society and the Miller Barn Project.
The Foundation is making a real difference in Woodbury in real people’s lives through its new Community Grants, its popular programs like Citizen’s Academy, the Nonprofit Roundtable and Woodbury Thrives, as well as supporting other community programs.
“Your continued support of the Woodbury Community Foundation enables our work to touch the lives of all Woodbury residents,” said Lori Nelson, WCF Executive Director.
About Woodbury Community Foundation: The Woodbury Community Foundation (www.woodburyfoundation.org) is a local philanthropic nonprofit organization acting on behalf of the community to meet the needs of our Woodbury residents.