The Greater White Bear Lake Community Foundation has awarded $32,200 in grants to community groups through its Community Partners Fund.

Thanks to the contributions of people in the greater White Bear Lake community, the foundation announced in late May that it would award grants to projects and programs of area organizations that align with its mission of inspiring philanthropy and enriching the lives of people who live in the communities it serves – Birchwood Village, Dellwood, Mahtomedi, White Bear Lake, and White Bear Township. By the deadline of August 15, the foundation’s Community Partners Fund had received 32 proposals for funding, totaling $142,211.

The foundation’s grants advisory committee is chaired by board member Carol McFarlane, and consists of Bryan Belisle, Beverley Driscoll, Marilyn Muellner, John Redpath, and Mark Sather, all of whom recognize the contributions of our area’s community organizations.

“Their work is contributing to and enhancing the quality of life for those who live and work in the greater White Bear Lake area, and we are pleased to be able to support their efforts through the foundation’s grantmaking program,” commented McFarlane. “These programs and projects represent a wide variety of fields of interest, including serving our senior population, preserving the environment, carrying out cultural and historical activities, caring for those in need, and providing educational opportunities.”

Based on the committee’s recommendations, the board approved awards to 20 programs.

“We are grateful to have had $32,200 to invest in these projects,” stated McFarlane, “but this only makes a small dent in the need.”

The foundation, incorporated in March 2015, hopes to continue with a second grant round in 2018 and encourages community residents who would like to support local organizations to contribute to the Community Partners Fund by donating through the foundation’s web site ( For more information on the Fund, contact the foundation’s executive director, Jackie Reis at or 651-408-5412.

Greater White Bear Lake Community Foundation 2017 Grant Awards  

Century College Foundation – $1,800 (contribution to emergency assistance fund to help students stay in school and graduate);

Cerenity Senior Care – $1,050 (purchase of I-Pads for use by long-term care residents and hospice patients);

Children’s Performing Arts – $1,000 (support for youth choir programming and entertainment in our communities); 

Consortium of Lake Area Senior Services (CLASS): Creating Dementia Friendly Communities Initiative – $2,500 (to help people in our communities understand what dementia is, how it affects families, and to help make a positive difference in the lives of those affected by dementia);  

Giving Gardens – $2,000 (expansion of number of garden beds adopted by community neighbors to provide fresh produce to those in need);

H2O For Life: SPLASH! Toolkit – $1,300 (development and implementation of an educational toolkit for use in area schools to teach youth to become water stewards and advocates for water resources);

Lakeshore Players Inc: Active Voice 2017-18 Staged Reading Series – $1,000 (to provide access to more diverse and experimental performance opportunities that encourage critical thinking, stir complex emotions, and discuss topics not usually explored);

Level Up Academy: Global Enrichment – $1,650 (to offer the Global Inventors curriculum to middle school students as an addition to the school’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) program); 

Lyngblomsten: Demonstrating Program Impact – $2,000 (to develop with the Wilder Foundation a comprehensive evaluation program to measure the efficacy of this new model for providing program services for older adults and their caregivers);

Mahtomedi Area Food Shelf: Backpack Program for Non-school Days – $2,000 (support of current and expanded program to provide food support for Mahtomedi school district children;

Newtrax, Inc: Community Shuttle Pilot Program – $1,000 (pilot project to create a transportation system for area seniors to have access to community businesses, organizations, and area events);

Northeast Youth & Family Services: Senior Chore Services – $2,000 (support of program that pairs seniors living in their home with community youth and adult volunteers to provide help with seasonal and routine chores allowing seniors to remain in their homes);

Solid Ground: Learning & Enrichment Program – $3,000 (to expand an after-school tutoring program for formerly homeless children in grades K-8 residing at East Metro Place);

Tamarack Nature Center: Junior Assistant Naturalists Mentoring Project – $2,500 (support for adding a youth volunteer coordinator dedicated to engaging, mentoring, and guiding the Junior Assistant Naturalists program);

White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf: Century College Mobile Market – $1,000 (to provide healthy and nutritious food to students at Century College struggling with food insecurity by providing a monthly mobile market);

White Bear Lake Area Historical Society: White Bear Township Hall Restoration Project – $2,000 (contribution toward purchase of historical markers for the restoration of historic town hall);

White Bear Lake Branch/Ramsey Co. Library: Park Rx Kits – $600 (in partnership with the Minnesota DNR and BearPower, to promote physical and mental health by providing access to state parks together with educational materials about opportunities for hiking in nature);

 White Bear Lake Lions Club Foundation: Soldiers Memorial Flagpole Project – $1,000 (contribution toward project to refurbish and rebuild flagpole dedicated in 1939 as a tribute to all soldiers of any war);

White Bear Lake United Methodist Church: Expansion of READ 5,000 Program – $1,800 (to expand program for students at Willow Lane Elementary School from 1st grade to 2nd and 3rd grades by giving financial assistance to children who might not otherwise be able to purchase books at school book fairs);

Young Life: White Bear Lake & Mahtomedi Area – $1,000 (support of project to re-establish and expand high school program in White Bear Lake and Mahtomedi school districts).

Submitted by Jackie Reis, Executive Director, Greater White Bear Lake Community Foundation