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Community Foundation proposes 7-day charity event to benefit 4 local groups

Give Grand logo

Four groups will benefit from a “grand” charity event if the Community Foundation’s plans pan out.

The Community Foundation is in the early stages of planning “Give Grand,” a seven-day charity event that ends with a community celebration on May 3.

The four charities set to benefit from Give Grand are the Northlands Rescue Mission, Valley Community Health Centers, Ground UP Adventures and the 42nd Street Arts Corridor.

Kristi Mishler, executive director of the Community Foundation, met with representatives of local radio stations, Valley Community Health and Ground UP and UND Student Body President Nick Creamer on Tuesday to brainstorm ideas for the charity event.

“Give Grand” will be a mostly online giving event, similar to the well-known Giving Hearts Day, but with only four local charities instead of more than 100 organizations from throughout the state, Mishler said.

The Community Foundation has already secured some match grants to be applied to the online donations, including the $50,000 grant it received for the 42nd Street project.

The goal is to secure a $50,000 match grant for each organization, and then have each grant met, giving each organization $100,000, Mishler said.

The party

The tentatively seven-day, mostly-online giving event will end with Forkin’ Fest, a community celebration to raise awareness to the four organizations and to reward those who donated.

Forkin’ Fest would be May 3, possibly outside the Alerus Center, Mishler said. This would allow the event to coincide with UND’s “BIG event” annual day of volunteering and UND’s Spring Jam concert at the Alerus Center that night, she said.

BIG event organizers haven’t officially partnered with Give Grand and Forkin’ Fest yet, Creamer said. But regardless, Mishler said, Forkin’ Fest is “a good way to reach out to UND students” and support their volunteering that day.

As Mishler and others at Tuesday’s meeting brainstormed Forkin’ Fest, the idea morphed from an ethnic-themed “Feast of Nations” to a “giant church potluck,” with many community-oriented ideas in between.

There could be giant inflatable games for kids, a scavenger hunt, food vendors and more, Mishler said.

And Forkin’ Fest would also include booths or activities highlighting each of the four charities benefitting from Give Grand.

The Give Grand charity event will raise money for four Grand Forks projects:

  • Northlands Rescue Mission is a homeless shelter in downtown Grand Forks.
  • Valley Community Health Centers are regional community health clinics in Northwood, Grand Forks and Larimore.
  • Ground UP Adventures is a nonprofit in Grand Forks focused on promoting outdoor adventure. Representatives at Tuesday’s meeting said Give Grand Funds would likely be used for activities on the Red River.
  • 42nd Street Arts Corridor is a proposed public art project for 42nd Street South in Grand Forks.
Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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