A Memorable Night for Southwest Minnesota
On Friday, May 20, Southwest Initiative Foundation celebrated 25 years of serving southwest Minnesota. More than 300 guests—including current and former board members, volunteers, donors, loan clients, grant recipients, partners and friends from throughout the region and beyond—joined to honor the “Best of Southwest Minnesota.”
Thank you to all who made this a very special night for southwest Minnesota!
Showcase of Southwest Minnesota
The evening started with a private Growing Home Circle reception, followed by a social hour. Both featured local wines and brews from Brau Brothers Brewing Co., Lucan; Fieldstone Vineyards, Redwood Falls; and Glacial Ridge Winery, Spicer.
This Showcase of Southwest Minnesota also featured four regional artists:
- Donna Jean Carver, Willmar
- Greg Hoogeveen, Luverne
- Suzanne Napgezek, Willmar
- Joel and Torri McKinney, Walnut Grove
Dinner, Program and Awards Presentation
Following the Showcase, guests enjoyed a dinner and program, with special guest and emcee John Lauritsen, a WCCO-TV reporter and Montevideo/Milan native. John shared some of his experiences growing up in rural Minnesota and how they have shaped his career, providing him with a strong work ethic, sense of humor and humility.
He and SWIF President/CEO Sherry Ristau also shared a very special announcement from The McKnight Foundation. Read the message from McKnight President Kate Wolford here.
The program was completed with an awards presentation, recognizing four anniversary award and the Southwest Initiative Foundation Award recipients.
- Collaboration Award
Awarded to Western Minnesota Prairie Waters Convention and Visitors Bureau, a program of the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development CommissionAs collaborators, these people and/or entities work together in partnership to share ideas, resources and energy. Their willingness to look beyond traditional boundaries creates new opportunities for the southwest Minnesota region.
- Innovation Award
Awarded to the Fabian and Lorraine Sheehan Family of Bird Island whose family is well-known for its LP gas business, Rural Computer Consultants software development business and their extensive community involvementAs an innovator, this business, organization or community seeks new and unique ways to create value in the region. Their creativity and productivity strengthens the economic and social framework of southwest Minnesota.
- Leadership Award
Awarded to Glen Herfurth who has often been described as “Mr. Montevideo,” a tribute to his contributions throughout the communityAs a leader, this person brings people or organizations together to face challenges and create new opportunities to strengthen and sustain our communities and the southwest Minnesota region. Their vision, action and dedication make a lasting, positive difference.
- Philanthropist Award
Awarded to Warren Herreid II and Jeannine Rivet, who are Growing Home Circle Members and have been the impetus of many initiatives and projects in Luverne, Rock County and beyondAs a philanthropist, these people voluntarily give of their time, talent and financial resources for social and economic benefit. Their generosity has impacted families, organizations, communities and the southwest Minnesota region.
- Southwest Initiative Foundation Award
Awarded to The Robert and Helen Remick Charitable Foundation TrustThe trust honors Bob Remick who died in 1998. He was a depot employee, high school teacher, farmer, and artist. The Trust has contributed almost $4.5 million to 75 charitable causes in southwest Minnesota since 2000 including the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s General Endowment, Early Childhood Initiative, a memorial scholarship fund and given the first gift of farmland through the Foundation’s Farmland Retention Program.
Download the complete 25th Anniversary Award Book here.
A special thanks to Premier Banquet Sponsors Bremer Bank and Bremer Investment Management & Trust and Silver Banquet Sponsor Howalt+McDowell.