Hormel Foundation divvies $6M in grants

Published 10:48 am Tuesday, December 11, 2012

More than $6 million will go to nonprofits and organizations in Austin thanks to The Hormel Foundation this year.

The Foundation approved $6 million in funding to Austin groups for 2013, marking more than $90 million in grants to the Austin area since the Foundation began in 1942, with more than $56 million given to Austin since 2000. That amount does not include The Foundation’s $13.4 million contribution to The Hormel Institute’s nearly $24 million expansion project completed in 2008.

“We’re trying to carry on the mission of Jay Hormel,” said Gary Ray, executive director of the Foundation. “For Jay, it was all about service in the community. That was his intent.”

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The Foundation gave to 39 organizations this year, including the Community Against Bullying and Parenting Resource Center.

Austin education will benefit from almost $1.2 million in donations to Austin Public Schools and Riverland Community College. Riverland will receive $309,000 for its Cycles for Success and Be Your Best programs, which help non-traditional and first-generation college students achieve their goals through school, as well as $80,000 for Horatio Alger scholarships for incoming students.

The school district will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund the district’s professional practice partnership with the University of Minnesota, as Austin’s fifth- and sixth-grade faculty and administration are working with U of M experts to form a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) curriculum for the I.J. Holton Intermediate School.

In addition, Foundation funding will go to technology initiatives and programs like the annual Gifted and Talented Symposium, among other programs, according to Superintendent David Krenz.

“It’s critical,” Krenz said of the Foundation’s grants. “With a lack of state funding, to try to do anything new or innovative would be impossible without the funding from The Foundation.”

Krenz said he will give a detailed report on what programs The Foundation money will go to at a future Austin Public Schools board meeting.

Local nonprofits like the United Way of Mower County and organizations like Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin will also receive funding. The United Way will receive $112,000 for its preschool scholarship program and $256,000 for general programming, according to Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt, UWMC executive director.

“We’ve increased our ability to give back over the last seven years, which is not the case in most communities, and that’s in large part because The Foundation has increased its ability to give back,” Lighthizer-Schmidt said.

The Institute, a world-renowned cancer research center, is the principal recipient of The Hormel Foundation’s yearly contributions, according to a news release.

“We are excited to break ground next spring for The Hormel Institute’s next major expansion, and The Hormel Foundation looks forward to continuing to provide substantial support for The Institute’s incredible growth and success,” Ray said in the release.

Established by Hormel Foods Corp.’s founder George A. Hormel and his son, Jay C. Hormel, one of The Hormel Foundation’s purposes is to serve as a charitable organization to benefit the Austin community. Its first contribution in 1941 was for $10 and its annual contributions to the community have grown steadily and significantly over the years.

Currently, The Hormel Foundation ranks sixth in annual giving among Minnesota’s largest community/public foundations and public charity grant makers, with those in the lead located in the Twin Cities, according to the Minnesota Council on Foundations. The Hormel Foundation’s annual giving is significantly higher than contributions made by foundations in some of Minnesota’s largest cities.

The Hormel Foundation’s contributions are a direct result from the dividend increases of Hormel Foods common stock — the Foundation’s main asset.

“Hormel Foods Corp.’s continuing success and growth directly leads to significant, yearly contributions that benefit our community in many ways through The Hormel Foundation,” Ray said in the release. “We can all be very grateful for the vision and philanthropy of George A. and Jay C. Hormel in establishing the Foundation in a way that provides support to important, meaningful programs locally.”


2013 Hormel Foundation Grants

Hormel Foundation grants went to the following organizations:


•American Red Cross

•Apple Lane Child Care

•Austin Area Chamber of Commerce

•Austin Area Foundation

•Austin Community Scholarship Committee

•Austin Fire Department

•Austin Police Department

•Austin Public Library

•Austin Public Schools

•Austin Spamtown USA Freedom Festival

•Cedar Valley Services Inc.

•Children’s Dental Health Services

•City of Austin

•Girl Scout Council of River Trails Inc.

•Hormel Historic Home

•The Hormel Institute

•Jay C. Hormel Nature Center

•Mayo Clinic Health Systems – Austin

•Mower Council for the Handicapped Inc.

•Parenting Resource Center

•The ARC of Mower County

•The Salvation Army

•United Way of Mower County Inc.

•Wapiti Meadows Community Technologies and Services

•Welcome Center

•YMCA of Austin, Inc.


George A. Hormel Testamentary Trust grants went to the following organizations:

•Adams Town & County Pool

•Austin Area Commission for the Arts

•Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau

•Austin Girls Youth Fast Pitch Association

•Austin Jr. All-Star Baseball, Inc.

•Austin Symphony Orchestra

•Austin Youth Baseball

•Austin Youth Basketball

•Austin Youth Football

•Community Against Bullying

•Girl Scout Council of River Trails Inc.

•Hormel Historic Home

•KSMQ Public Television

•LeRoy-Ostrander Public Schools

•Math Masters of Minnesota

•Mower County Humane Society

•NAMI southeast Minnesota

•Northwestern Singers

•Rachel’s Hope

•Riverside Figure Skating Club

•Southland ISD No. 500