Bremer Awarded First Ever “Community Philanthropic Award” in Grand Forks
Grand Forks, N.D. - October 12, 2010 - The Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and the surrounding region recently hosted its annual meeting and presented the first ever 'Community Philanthropic Award' to the Otto Bremer Foundation and Bremer Bank.
The Community Foundation highlighted Bremer's ownership structure and commitment to the community, noting its leadership in giving and helping communities to thrive. The award itself is a specially designed art piece, created by David Badman. Additionally, it was announced that the Otto Bremer Foundation and Bremer Bank have committed $500,000 to a new Wellness Center being built in Grand Forks.
“We are appreciative and humbled to receive this award from the Community Foundation,” said Russ Erickson, president of Bremer Bank Grand Forks. “I personally feel very privileged to work for an organization that gives back to the community and has this vision for building healthy communities through partnerships. This combination of philanthropic giving, community commitment and unusual business and ownership model combine to truly benefit our communities.”
Over the past decade, the Otto Bremer Foundation grants and Bremer Bank donations in the Grand Forks area have totaled more than $16 million dollars. This is complimented by the thousands of volunteer hours that Bremer Bank employees also give each year. Additionally, Bremer has a nonprofit resource specialist, with the primary focus of working with community stakeholders and nonprofits to help build their capacity that helps ensure the overall health of our community. The Community Foundation itself has been the recipient of nearly $1 million dollars in grants and donations from The Otto Bremer Foundation and Bremer Bank over the past decade.
“We thought it be very fitting to award the first ever, 2010 Community Philanthropy Award for organizations to Otto Bremer Foundation and Bremer Bank,” said Kristi Mishler, executive director for the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Region. “The work and investment that flows from Bremer is commendable. We wanted to say, ‘thank you so much.’”
In addition to Bremer and the Otto Bremer Foundation award, the Community Foundation also awarded the family of Jerry and Sanny Ryan with the Community Philanthropy Award for family. Sanny Ryan, along with her late husband Jerry Ryan, have been major philanthropic investors in the community for decades. The Ryan family supported the completion of the King’s Walk Golf Course as well as committing resources to the Purpur Arena, the ND Museum of Art, the GF Park District Foundation and many other initiatives.
Bremer Financial Corporation
Bremer Financial Corporation is a privately-held, $7.6 billion regional financial services company owned by its employees and the Otto Bremer Foundation (OBF). Founded in 1943 by Otto Bremer, the company is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota and provides a comprehensive range of banking, investment, trust and insurance services to locations in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. OBF uses its share of dividends to distribute charitable grants to Bremer Bank communities. In 2009, more than $25 million in charitable donations were given across the Bremer footprint and employees donated more than 160,000 volunteer hours to their communities. For more information, go to bremer.com.