Fund doubles most grant amounts to Minnesota militaryby Mark Zdechlik, Minnesota Public Radio
The nonprofit, nonpartisan Minnesotans' Military Appreciation Fund says successful fundraising is allowing it to double grants to many Minnesota members of the military.
St. Paul, Minn. — Michael Gorman, co-founder of the fund, says the organization has already given $250 to every Minnesota member of the military who's served in a combat zone since September 2001.
Now, thanks in part to proceeds from a February $1,000-a-plate fundraiser featuring New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Gorman says the fund is sending each member another $250.
That event alone raised more than $900,000 for the organization. About half the money came from Mary Lou and Leonard Hoeft, a World War II veteran and former president and chief executive of Ziegler Co. Inc., said a fund spokeswoman.
"The response to the Minnesotans' Military Appreciation Fund has been quite positive across the state," says Gorman. "Donations large and small have added up to nearly $6 million raised, to show our appreciation and say thanks to the troops."
Gorman says eligible military personnel don't need to reapply for the second grant, but should contact the fund if their address has changed. The second grants will be mailed by the end of May.
In addition to the grants for returning military, the fund has provided $5,000 cash grants to families of fallen soldiers since August 2005. It's also given between $2,000 and $10,000 to members of the military who've been injured in combat.