Hormel Foundation Announces $6 Million in Grants

Posted at: 12/11/2012 6:50 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- For some groups in our area, it was like Christmas came early.

They learned Tuesday which items on their 2013 wish-list  will be funded.

And a lot has changed since the very first funding in 1941.

"The first donation was for ten dollars to Ducks Unlimited," said the Hormel Foundation’s Gary Ray. "Today (Tuesday) we're announcing six million dollars."

It's become an early-December tradition -- the Hormel Foundation's announcement of the organizations it will support with funding in the coming year.

"They have to be non-profit organizations, and they have to be organizations that service the community," Gary Ray explained.

This year there are ten of them.

"United Way is a big one,” Gary Ray told us. “The Salvation Army and the needs that they have today."

“We're getting $80,000 for operating expenses, we're getting $40,000 for our summer day camp," said the Army’s Lt. David Amick.

Plus funding for rent and utilities, and prescription assistance -- critical needs in a tight economy.

"We would definitely have to turn more than a few people away," Amick said.

The Foundation will also provide grants for the city of Austin and the Austin school district.

"The biggest areas it'll go to are staff development and then our gifted and talented programs," said Superintendent of Austin Public Schools David Krenz.  "What it does allow us to do is some of the innovative things we couldn't afford to do just with normal state funds."

"We also asked for money to help us develop a new teen tutoring and mentor center," said the director of the Austin YMCA, Tedd Maxfield.

The Y will receive funding for that program, and to continue its one-of-a-kind youth membership program.

"Any child in grades two through 12 can join the y for just one dollar a year," Maxfield explained.

And while the dollar amounts have changed since 1941, one thing that hasn't changed is Jay Hormel's funding criteria.

"Education, scientific, which we do through the Institute, and also the focuses and needs of the community," Gary Ray explained.

The Hormel Foundation has now awarded nearly 90 million dollars to organizations in the Austin area. 56 million of that has been awarded since the year 2000.