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Realtors association donates $20K to Main Street program, Salvation Army

The Southeast Minnesota Realtors Association donated a total of $20,000 to two Albert Lea organizations during the weekly Thursdays on Fountain at Fountain Lake Park. 

The Albert Lea Salvation Army and Albert Lea Main Street program each received $10,005. 

Maj. Deb Thompson of the Albert Lea Salvation Army said the donation will help the organization serve more people and put food on the shelves for people in need. 

Last year the Salvation Army fed 6,165 people, a press release stated.

Albert Lea members of the Southeast Minnesota Realtors Association present a check for $10,005 to Maj. Deb Thompson of the Albert Lea Salvation Army Thursday at Thursdays on Fountain. Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Holly Karsjens, executive director of the Main Street program, said she plans to use the money for a grant program for downtown businesses to apply for funds to help their businesses “thrive” and not just survive. Businesses can apply for funding to go toward patio furniture, signage or help with their websites, to name a few examples.  

Realtors and affiliate members of Southeast Minnesota Realtors Association and staff worked together to raise funds for the donations. The first $10,000 in donations raised was matched by SEMR. 

The first $10,000 collected to get the match was raised by a combination of direct donations by members, a Spring Fling bingo/auction event, bingo at the Moose Lodge, a food drive with funds matched for receipts for food brought in, a roundup at the register fundraiser at Hy-Vee and a drawing at Thursdays on Fountain.

The Albert Lea fundraising campaign is one of five community fundraising campaigns SEMR is

involved in across southeastern Minnesota right now. 

SEMR is also funding additional $10,000 donation matches in campaigns taking place in Austin, Owatonna, Rochester and Winona.