Initiative Foundation Focuses On “Growing Home”
A foundation based out of Little Falls held a luncheon in Brainerd today to celebrate progress that has been made in the Brainerd Lakes Area and surrounding communities.
The Initiative Foundation was created in 1986 after the farm crisis to help rural Minnesota communities that did not recover as fast as metro areas. They focus on economic and community development to build a more prosperous Central Minnesota. The foundation held the luncheon to celebrate the positive work that has been going on in the Brainerd Lakes Area.
“We are celebrating some of the great stories of progress around the region. We’re able to partner with a lot of folks that are making that good work happen, and sometimes when you see a lot of concerning news in the world, it’s important to look around and find some of the good news stories as well,” said Matt Varilek, Initiative Foundation President. “We heard a lot of those today.”
Along with celebrating the positive work of local organizations, the Initiative Foundation used the luncheon to announce some news. The Bush Foundation has awarded Initiative a $1.4 million grant to enable them to keep growing and keep providing resources to Central Minnesota. They also announced that they will be opening a satellite location right here in Brainerd.
“The Brainerd Lakes Area is so important to us and has been for our entire history. A lot of our staff comes from this area as well and so many of our partners, so we thought it would be great to have a physical location here. So we’re partnering with the Chamber of Commerce and B.L.A.E.D.C. as well and so now we’ll be neighbors there. Having a physical location which will allow us to have staff there doing their work and doing meetings and partnering with other folks in the area,” explained Varilek.
The Growing Home luncheon was part of a three-part series that took place in St. Joseph, Braham, and Brainerd.