The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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May 19, 2013

Names and Notables

Hickory Tech

The Hickory Tech Foundation recently presented a $1,000 grant to Creative Play Place in St. Peter. The funding is being used to support the Literacy Lending Bag project that lets families, child care providers and preschool teachers check out bags that include books, songs, poems and hands-on activities that enrich the storytime experience for young children.

FarmamericaDave Fredrickson, Minnesota commissioner of agriculture, and Farmamerica staff recognized local volunteers with a volunteer appreciation dinner at its visitor center Monday, April 15. The following individuals were recognized: Dr. Joe Eckert of Mankato, and Steve and Liz Melcher of Janesville were presented the Director’s Award; Don Siems of Waseca for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year; Jordan Paulson of Waseca for Outstanding Youth Volunteer; Janesville Jacks and Jills 4-H Club for Organization of the Year; and Kieffer Communications of Waseca for Business Partner of the Year.

Mankato Ford

As a result of a fundraising event last weekend, Mankato Ford is donating $4,000 to St. Peter High School's choir, band and theater programs.

More than 180 people attended a Saturday event at the high school during which $20 was donated by Ford for everyone who took a test drive. Since the program’s inception in 2007, the Drive 4 UR School program has generated more than $16 million in donations for high school nationwide.

Red Lobster

Feeding Our Communities Partners will receive a $1,000 grant as part of the Restaurant Community Grants program from the Darden Foundation, the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants Inc.

The grants program, now in its second year, allowed the Mankato Red Lobster restaurant to help support the local community program BackPack Food Program.BackPack Food discreetly provides low-income students with packs of nutritious, child-friendly meals to take home for weekends and school breaks. As community support increases, Feeding Our Community Partners can implement the BackPack Food Program at additional Mankato area elementary schools.

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