2017 Wrap Up

In 2017, as in 2016, VHACF continued to receive four times as many grant requests than we are able to fulfill. However, we are pleased to list those recipients we were able to support this past year:

Century College Foundation – Emergency Assistance and Food Pantry for students

Midwest Ski Otters – new stage for their water performances

White Bear Center for the Arts – High School Visual Arts Contest

Northeast Residence – Extended Day program for children and adults with developmental disabilities

City of Vadnais Heights – 2017 Heritage Days

Willow Lane Elementary – Camp Icaghowan scholarships

AFSA – Environmental camp scholarships for 5-8 graders

Newtrax – White Bear Lake Area Senior Shuttle Pilot

Shoreview YMCA – transportation for summer swimming lessons for area 6-8 graders

White Bear Lake High School Senior – Scholarship to Carrie Hunner, to attend Duke University to study Electrical Engineering

Vadnais Heights Lions Club – Emergency Food Shelf

White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf – Onsite Food Pantries at AFSA and Central Middle School

And we are especially pleased for this year’s recipients, Lindsay Lamwers and Matthew Skogen, White Bear Lake science teachers at Sunrise Middle School, who received a $10,000 fellowship from us, in partnership with Fund For Teachers®. They traveled to Iceland in August to study the many tectonic and landform features unique to that country, including volcanoes, glaciers, rift valleys, hot springs and geysers. They used a special 360 degree camera there, while their students back home will be using virtual reality viewers to see amazing up-close videos of walking inside a volcano, actual tectonic plate boundaries, snorkeling the Silfra fissure and more.

#FFTFellow We recently visited the Goðafoss waterfall in Iceland where sunny weather made for some stunning shots of the bright blue churning waters.

A post shared by Mr. Skogen (@mr_skogen) on

Please join with VHACF in helping us to continue to meet the growing needs of our community by donating today!

You may give here or send your tax deductible donation to:

VHACF, PO Box 270502, Vadnais Heights, MN 55127

2015 Partnership Award


VHACF Chair Shelly Hauge & VHEDC President Kevin Whelan

On Thursday, November 5, VHACF was given the Partnership Award at the annual VHEDC (Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation) dinner.


VHEDC Executive Director Ling Becker


VHACF Chair Shelly Hauge


We are honored to receive this award and have been pleased to partner with VHEDC from when we first began giving out grants in 1990. We helped them establish a revolving loan fund for area businesses and are happy to support their efforts annually.



VHACF Board Member Dave Stimpson and former Board Member Chuck Sandstrom


It is partnerships like these within our area community that help our community be strong and vibrant. Thank you to VHEDC for recognizing and honoring us with the award!

Century College

Our February Board meeting was held at Century College East Campus, who generously provided us with a meeting room, coffee and bakery treats. We were happy to hear about their Random Acts of Kindness Program and note the many students in need who were helped by this program our recent grant went to. We are very pleased to support young adults furthering their educational goals.


2014 Holiday Luncheon

Hank Tessier and Mary McNellis with Shelly Hauge

Hank Tessier and Mary McNellis with VHACF Board Chair Shelly Hauge

On December 11, 2014, VHACF held a small Holiday Luncheon at North Oaks Golf Club with present board members, several recent grant recipients and local city officials. We honored two past board members for their many years of dedication and service to the Foundation:  Hank Tessier and Mary McNellis.

We also had the pleasure of hearing from a few of our recent Grant Recipients. Sara Swoboda was our 2014 Fund For Teachers recipient and told us how her time spent studying Spanish in Argentina enhanced her classroom teaching.

Sara Swoboda, 2014 Fund For Teachers Grant Recipient

Sara Swoboda, 2014 Fund For Teachers Grant Recipient

Trisha Cummins Kauffman, Executive Director of Solid Ground in White Bear Lake, spoke of the inspiring work this nonprofit is doing and handed out materials showing us the many programs Solid Ground offers in helping local families build strong and stable foundations.


Trisha Cummins Kauffman, Solid Ground Executive Director

We also heard from John Wayne Barker, Executive Director of Merrick, Inc., a nonprofit whose mission is empowering adults with disabilities. In addition to their Vadnais Heights facility, Merrick also operates a second program site for Adult Day and Memory Care services in downtown North St. Paul.

John Wayne Barker, Executive Director of Merrick, Inc.

John Wayne Barker, Executive Director of Merrick, Inc.

Finishing up the program was Patrice Abbe, Manager of Community Affiliates for Minnesota Philanthropy Partners. Patrice explained how VHACF is affiliated with the St. Paul Foundation and Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, and receives ongoing encouragement, training and support from them.

Patrice Abbe, Manager of Community Affiliates, MN Philanthropy Partners

Patrice Abbe, Manager of Community Affiliates, MN Philanthropy Partners

It was an enjoyable time for all!