Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation awards 182 gallons of paint from hardware stores through Paint the Town Program

OWATONNA, MN, May 9, 2022 – Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) awarded 182 gallons of paint from local hardware stores to 10 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 2022 Paint the Town Grant award recipients are:

• 10 gallons to the City of Eyota to refresh a mural depicting Eyota’s evolution connecting the railroad and agriculture history to the present.

• 40 gallons to the City of Lanesboro to paint the Sylvan Park Public Building with colorful illustrations.

• 11 gallons to Friends of Peterson to paint gnome murals on the post office building.

• 10 gallons to Lake Crystal Economic Development Authority for a mural depicting pollinator plants and animals.

• 17 gallons to Mantorville Restoration Association for an historic preservation project.

• 14 gallons to Spring Valley Economic Development Authority for a mural on the S&S Bait Shop building depicting local landmarks.

• 20 gallons to Tri City United Schools in Montgomery for a Wings Walk art project, a fun photo opportunity for visitors to stand in front of the wings.

• 16 gallons to Truman Historical Association to refresh the historic jail building.

• 28 gallons to Wabasha County Historical Society to repaint the Reads Landing School, Minnesota’s oldest brick schoolhouse.

• 16 gallons to West Concord Historical Society for an interior painting project at the historic West Concord School.

Since 1997, SMIF has helped distributed more than 10,500 gallons of paint to 303 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.

“It’s incredible to surpass this milestone of awarding more than 300 gallons of paint to projects in southern Minnesota in SMIF’s history,” said Tim Penny, SMIF president and CEO. “It’s a testament to SMIF’s commitment to community vitality in the region. 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.

For more information on SMIF’s grant programs, contact Jennifer Heien, Grants Coordinator, at (507) 214-7040 or [email protected]

About Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), a donor-supported foundation, invests for economic growth in the 20 counties of south central and southeastern Minnesota. The Foundation has provided more than $136 million in grants, loans and programming within the region during the past 36 years. SMIF’s key interests include economic and early childhood development and community vitality. To learn more about our work and mission, visit