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New Richmond Area Community Foundation partners up with valley group

The current Board of Directors for the New Richmond Area Community Foundation include (from left to right) Heather McAbee (chair), Paul Mayer (vice chair), Tom Mews (treasurer), Steve Skoglund (secretary), Joe Beuning, Bill Buell, Trish Moberg, Tim O'Brien and Morrie Veilleux. Not pictured: Joe Earley, Dave Schleh and JoAnn Wrich.

The Board of Directors of the New Richmond Area Community Foundation has announced that it has partnered with the St. Croix Valley Foundation.

This partnership took effect immediately and will provide significant benefits to both organizations, according to NRACF Chairwoman Heather McAbee.

"We are not losing our individuality," McAbee said. "We still make our own decisions."

But it will allow the St. Croix Valley Foundation to help the local foundation administratively, and extend the geographic reach of the regional foundation. A stronger regional foundation group could bring more possibilities for additional funding, McAbee said.

"The mission of the St. Croix Valley Foundation is similar to that of the New Richmond Area Community Foundation - both having a goal to advance the quality of life in the areas served," McAbee said.

The NRACF was established in 1980 as a means for people of all economic backgrounds to contribute to building an endowment to advance the quality of life in this area now and beyond our lifetimes.

The goal, McAbee said, is to impact "the fabric of our community."

The local foundation has done just that during its history. It is active in the community, fostering a positive environment through leadership and philanthropy, in which people work together creatively for the common good.

The NRACF has awarded more than $300,000 in local grants for a broad range of purposes. The foundation has been engaged in building a healthy community by providing financial support for needs such as: recreational trails, other local health and recreation resources, youth and family programs, education and literacy, human services such as housing, transportation, healthcare and counseling, and arts and creativity.

"The New Richmond Area Community Foundation Board of Directors considered long and hard about this move," said Tom Mews, treasurer of the NRACF. "We felt that by affiliating ourselves with a larger, nationally recognized foundation we would be able to do even more for the greater New Richmond area than we have in the past."

The NRACF will gain access to the fundraising expertise and the organizational reach of the St. Croix Valley Foundation.

According to McAbee, this will assure NRACF supporters that their philanthropic efforts will be designated for projects in the New Richmond area. The partnership will allow the board to focus on meeting the needs of the community and increase the impact of donations in the community to fulfill both immediate need and long term vision.

The St. Croix Valley Foundation was established in 1995 by a group of valley residents to provide a means for people who care about the unique region to be part of shaping its future.

Since the partnership took effect, the SCVF reports assets of more than $28 million, and is active in grant-making in five counties that border the St. Croix River. SCVF currently serves communities in western Wisconsin including River Falls, Hudson and Amery. In eastern Minnesota SCVF serves the communities of Chisago Lakes, Stillwater and Lake Elmo. New Richmond marks its seventh partner community in the St. Croix Valley Region.

The two groups are working hard to determine the most effective ways to take advantage of the expertise and resources of each group. The result of this planning will be to continue to create programming and projects aimed at improving the quality of life for the citizens of the New Richmond and St. Croix Valley areas.

"We are very, very pleased to welcome the New Richmond Area Community Foundation into our family of affiliated foundations," says Jane Hetland Stevenson, president of the St. Croix Valley Foundation. "The bigger we are, the more we can do in the communities we serve. We're all pulling for a common purpose."

For information on how to contribute to the foundations, or to set up a fund, visit