Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation awards paint to 11 communities

Published 3:27 pm Friday, May 26, 2023

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Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation awarded 269 gallons of paint from local hardware stores to 11 communities across its 20-county region through its Paint the Town Grant Program. This program is designed to engage volunteers and build collaborative efforts that beautify communities through painting community murals, community welcome signs or historic structures. This grant is a partnership between SMIF, Ace Hardware stores and Arrow Hardware & Paint.

The Paint the Town Grant is awarded to projects in communities of 10,000 or less that will have a visual impact, provide a public benefit to the community and involve volunteer participation.

The 2023 Paint the Town Grant award recipients are:

  • 23 gallons to city of Elgin for a mural on Main Street.
  • 30 gallons to city of Elmore for a mural on the library.
  • 35 gallons to city of Kenyon to update the historic depot which is used widely by the community.
  • 6 gallons to city of Rollingstone to update three welcome signs.
  • 20 gallons to Fillmore County Agricultural Society to update the historic grandstand on the Fillmore County Fairgrounds.
  • 15 gallons to Mantorville Restoration Association to update six historic buildings.
  • 85 gallons to Minnesota Agricultural Interpretive Center (Farmamerica) in Waseca to update several historic buildings.
  • 15 gallons to Sterling Congregational Church to update the Sterling Church which is on the National Registry.
  • 6 gallons to Trinity Lutheran Church in New Richland to update the exterior of Nancy Jane’s Bakery.
  • 12 gallons to West Concord Historical Society to update the entrance of the historical society.
  • 22 gallons to Wykoff Area Historical Society to update Ed’s Museum.

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Since 1997, SMIF has helped distribute more than 10,700 gallons of paint to 314 projects in the region through various programs. The Paint the Town Grant program was officially launched in 2015 with regional Ace Hardware and Arrow Hardware and Paint stores.

“The gift of paint can have a profound impact on small communities,” said Tim Penny, SMIF president and CEO. “Whether it gets used for a community mural, welcome sign or to update historic structures, paint helps keeps our communities vibrant. We are thankful to once again have Ace Hardware and Arrow Hardware & Paint as partners in this program.”

The participating stores are Arrow Hardware & Paint (store locations: Northfield, Owatonna, Rochester Crossroads, Rochester North, St. Peter, Shakopee, St. Cloud), Faribault Ace Hardware, Pellicci Ace Hardware (store locations: Eagan, Farmington, Rosemount, Zumbrota) and St. Charles Ace Hardware.