Thursday, February 20, 2020
Ellendale area resident Larry Otto and Tiffany Krueger, city clerk of Ellendale, are two of eight board members of the Community Foundation of Ellendale who are helping spearhead a project to build a new commercial kitchen in the Ellendale Community Center.

Ellendale group embarks on kitchen remodeling project

Board members of the Community Foundation of Ellendale could be called protectors of their community.

These eight volunteers represent the organization that was founded four years ago with the support of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.

The Ellendale Foundation has the best interests of its community at heart. A main mission of the foundation is to make improvements to the Ellendale Community Center.

With startup funds and fundraising monies, the foundation expended $20,000 to install handicapped accessible doors on the west side of the community center and to renovate the bathrooms.

Now, the foundation is embarking on a new project and that is to remodel an outdated kitchen. The new kitchen will be a commercial kitchen featuring stainless steel equipment.

Steering the controls for the Ellendale foundation are Arlen Brekke, Colleen Brekke (chairperson), Larry Otto, Emily Otto, Stephanie Kibler, Pete Paulson, Sherrie Schot and Tiffany Krueger.

A mailing campaign is under way with letters asking for financial support of the kitchen project. Letters from the foundation are being sent to area residents later this month. The goal is to raise $15,000 or more for the project.

Larry Otto is also appealing to local farmers to donate a gift of grain. This gift is not income but can be written off as a donation, Otto said. If interested in this plan, contact Otto at 507-475-1013.

"Every dollar counts," remarked Otto. The Community Foundation of Ellendale is also participating in Give to the Max Day on Thursday, Nov. 14.

Standing in the existing kitchen, Larry Otto remarked, "This kitchen has served a lot of people over the years, but it is outdated and needs to be updated."

"We want a kitchen that our community members can use and be proud of," said board member and city clerk Tiffany Krueger.

Approximately 8-12 community groups and organizations use the community center during a given month. Some of the groups include 4-H clubs, Alanon, Berlin Township, Ellendale bank, Ellendale American Legion and Ellendale Days activities.

The initial startup monies came from SMIF on a matching grant, $10,000 from SMIF and from monies generated by the local foundation.

The kitchen project will cost in the neighborhood of $38,000, says Larry Otto. "We have some money in our general fund and are hoping to raise another significant amount," Otto explained.


The Community Foundation of Ellendale is partnering with the City of Ellendale to engineer the project. The city is looking at an equipment plan from TriMark Strategic Equipment & Supply Co.

The local foundation board hopes to begin construction of the new commercial kitchen shortly after the first of the year. The city is doing the planning and volunteers will help with the installation of new kitchen equipment.

The Community Foundation of Ellendale is looking past the kitchen project, having identified its next project as finishing the rest of the building. This will include lowering the ceilings and arranging for better acoustics in the building.

If interested in helping financially, or by doing in-kind labor, contact any of the board members, or check out the Community Foundation of Ellendale Facebook page.



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Steele County Times & DCI

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