Foundation to give $7.1M in 2015

Published 10:02 am Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Area organizations are getting a little good news ahead of the holidays.

The Hormel Foundation announced Tuesday it will grant $7.1 million to more than 30 organizations and projects in 2015.

“We can be so fortunate that back in the year 1941 that Jay and George set this trust up, and the support and how meaningful it’s been to the programs,” said Gary Ray, executive director of the Foundation.

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That $7.1 million is a $1 million increase over the Foundation’s announced 2014 contributions. According to Ray, the increase reflects the Foundation’s increased commitment to the community.

Ray said the Foundation spent a little more than $8 million in 2013 and a little more than $16 million this year. With $7.1 announced for 2015, Ray believes the Foundation will pass its 2014 contributions to the community.

The Foundation recently announced a $5 million grant over the next few years to the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center for its upcoming interpretive center construction project. The new interpretive center is scheduled to open in fall 2017.

The Hormel Institute continues to be the foundation’s largest beneficiary. The Foundation has committed $24.5 million to the Institute’s upcoming $28.5 million expansion and subsequent $4.5 million auditorium project. The Foundation also recently donated $3.2 million to the city of Austin to help buy the Oak Park Mall site, which will eventually have a 60,000- to 90,0000-square-foot Hy-Vee store.

Many organizations are supported by the foundation and represented on its board of directors. They include the Austin Area Foundation, Austin Community Scholarship Committee, Austin Public Schools, Cedar Valley Services Inc., city of Austin, Mayo Clinic Health System — Austin, the Salvation Army, The Hormel Institute; United Way of Mower County, and YMCA of Austin.