Congratulations to The Lac qui Parle Economic Development Authority’s Computer Commuter program, recipient of a $25,000 Blandin Foundation grant!
What is the Computer Commuter? According to the Lac qui Parle EDA:
The LqP Computer Commuter is the result of a grant project that began in early January of 2010. The Lac qui Parle County Economic Development Authority (LqP EDA) has been working on promoting and expanding broadband service within the county for the past two and one-half years. As a result of these broadband efforts Lac qui Parle County came to mind for Congressman Collin Peterson when he was approached by the TDF Foundation in late December 2009. The TDF Foundation was searching for a potential site to install a computer lab in rural Minnesota. This search included finding a community that would be willing to apply for one of their computer lab grants. When the call came into the LqP EDA, Director Pam Lehmann formed a task force (computer lab committee) to brainstorm ideas for a computer lab project in Lac qui Parle County. This task force determined that there was not just one town within our county in need of a computer lab – there were several. And the idea for a mobile computer lab was born!
The Blandin Foundation is a private foundation based in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Founded by Charles K. Blandin in 1941, we are the state’s largest rural-based and rural-focused foundation. As of Dec. 31, 2012, the foundation leveraged the proceeds from a trust worth more than $350 million. According to the Blandin Foundation website:
Our mission is to strengthen communities in rural Minnesota, especially the Grand Rapids area. Our vision is of building healthy rural communities grounded in strong economies where the burdens and benefits are widely shared.
Blandin may have originated in the Grand Rapids area but their leadership, resources and coaching efforts have benefited the entire state of Minnesota!
Blandin Foundation takes a range of approaches to help strengthen rural Minnesota communities. These primarily are:
- Granting money and providing other types of resources that support the innovative work of rural Minnesota organizations.
- Providing world-class instruction for rural community leaders.
- Convening and supporting diverse stakeholders around critical issues.
- Strengthening rural Minnesota’s voices in statewide decision-making that especially affects rural communities.
Who’s eligible? The Blandin website spells it out…
To be eligible for Blandin Foundation grants, organizations must be located in Minnesota, be a 501(c)3 organization or unit of government, and propose projects that align with the Foundation’s mission and focus areas of:
- Vibrant home communities where all dimensions of local communities are healthier.
- Skilled community leaders who recognize and capitalize on opportunities, strengthen diverse relationships, and motivate others to act to strengthen their community of place or interest.
- Expanded rural opportunity through the blend of community economic vitality, intentional inclusion and education success.
Back on May 7th, it was announced that another six grants, (totaling $147,750) had been awarded to assist rural Minnesota communities in advancing high-speed Internet access and use in their communities. LqP’s Computer Commuter certainly did fit the bill as one of the six recipients. Keep up the great work!MVTV Wireless Your Broadband Internet Provider ‘Connecting Rural Minnesota’