Background Information:  The Richfield Rotary Foundation is the charitable arm of the Richfield Rotary Club.  Foundation assets include funds raised at our annual Wine and Chocolate Tasting and Silent Auction.  Listed below are grants approved for funding in 2009.  Action was taken by the Richfield Rotary Club on March 19, 2009, following consideration at the March 14 club meeting and at the March 17 Foundation Board of Directors meeting.

Requesting Organization / Representative


Proposal Purpose / Key Activities


Grant Amount

Fill a Mind and Heart

Sally Parks, Board of Directors

Fill a Mind and Heart is a non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the most basic needs of children in Ethiopia through food / milk, education and medical care.  100% of donations go directly to help the children. 



Modulo de Informacion, Recursos y Apoyo (MIRA)

David Albornoz (Development Officer)

Shirley Bartlett (Program Director)

MIRA is a Latino resource center in Richfield, supported primarily through grants and in-kind contributions.  The grant will be used to help provide no-cost adult / family ESL education, Spanish language computer education, and pre-school/day care to promote the educational, economic and social development of Richfield’s diverse population.   MIRA is the only Hispanic led organization in Richfield that focuses its offerings entirely on low-income children and families.




Erika Koffel, Director of Development

Opportunity Partners, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, works to empower people with disabilities to live, learn and work as independently as possible.  OP will use the grant funds to support Youth Transition Services for young people with disabilities, including students in the Richfield Public Schools.



Richfield Police and Fire Departments


Jill Mecklenburg, Certified Crime Prevention Specialist

On June 9, 2009, the Richfield Police and Fire Departments are sponsoring a “Safety Day” for 65 children entering fourth grade, including information about fire, bike, electrical, personal, dog, and Internet safety.  The Rotary Foundation grant will help purchase event T-shirts, awards, supplies, and food.   Rotary will be recognized on the T-Shirt and in event promotional materials. (Note:  Four Rotary volunteers are also needed to assist with event registration and the pizza dinner.)



Richfield Public Schools


Kelli Heckman, RHS Band Director

With over 50% of Richfield Public School students qualifying to receive free or reduced price lunches, many potentially fine musicians cannot afford to purchase or rent a musical instrument.  The Rotary Foundation grant will help the school district acquire and maintain one new or 2-3 used instruments for use by a beginning instrumental student for as long as the student remains in the program.



Richfield Rotary Club / STRIVE Program



Mike Andrews, STRIVE Co-Chair

One of the Richfield Rotary Club’s projects is STRIVE, a mentoring program for selected high school juniors and seniors.  The grant will be used to pay for expenses associated with operating the STRIVE Program, including curriculum materials, pizza lunches, transportation for college visit, incentives, and the awards breakfast.  STRIVE Program scholarships are funded out of the Ruth E. Johnson Scholarship Fund, administered by Richfield Public Schools.

$1000 (May be adjusted downward depending on size of STRIVE fund balance as of 6/30/09.)

Richfield United Methodist Church


Lynne Alexander, RUMC member

Rich Harvest is a free grocery program of Richfield United Methodist Church.  On the 4th Saturday of each month, surplus food is distributed to needy individuals and families from Richfield and South Minneapolis, including many Hispanics and elderly.  The program has also been used to distribute books, hats, mittens, and school supplies to children.  The program served an average of 260 per month over its first 20 months at an average cost of $4.75 per adult.  A grant will help cover the estimated monthly program cost of $2000.


Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP)

Kelly Larson, VEAP Development Associate

A Richfield Rotary Foundation grant will support VEAP’s integrated basic needs program, including food, rent, utilities, medical care and transportation. The need for VEAP services in Richfield has grown from 2007 to 2008, as illustrated by a 17% increase in total residents served, a 20% increase in children served, a 40% increase in Summer Youth Food Program participation, a 34% increase in Back-to-School Program participation, and a 30% growth in monthly and seasonal food program participation.


YMCA / Southdale

Funds received from the Richfield Rotary will be used to help struggling children, families, adults and seniors who need scholarship assistance to participate in YMCA transformation experiences.  All recipients will be Richfield residents.

Critical needs addressed through Y programs include safe and affordable childcare, water safety, health disparities, and healthy lifestyles for youth.



Total Amount Approved for funding: $12,000 in grants, plus an additional $1000 to be used at the discretion of 2009 – 2010 Club President Jay Clark