This award recognizes a corporation or business that has created a culture of philanthropy within their organization and has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to philanthropy through its: 1) financial support of one or more nonprofit organizations, 2) leadership involvement and 3) volunteer participation and commitment of its workforce in establishing a role model for other businesses in our community. This award does not recognize a single individual representing a corporation or business, but rather the work of the entire corporation or business.
2022 Recipient: Hartquist Funeral Home
When you talk about Hartquist Funeral Home and Cremation Services you immediately think of the last place you want to have to do business. But behind the amazing family death care they provide for our community you will find one of the most supportive and genuine family owned businesses.
Jeff and Sara say they strive to support a variety of community organizations in various ways – volunteering presence, attending events, collaboration and financially. The funeral home makes a financial donation for each family they serve to Hearts of Hope – a family grief camp that is offered to anyone that is searching for a platform to move forward in their grief journey.
You will always hear Hartquist Funeral Home confirm that when you give you will receive more in return. Promoting a work environment that encourages involvement in community events, organizations and church is encouraged. Being blessed with talents and treasures not put into action, result in wasted potential and opportunity.
Serving families through death care, Jeff and Sara have learned that relationships matter. Jeff shares “All of us bring something unique to life and make this world better for it. We are continuing to work towards becoming a true Kingdom Company – which is a company that operates under the philosophy of clearly understanding that none of what’s been given to us is ours and should be used as a means to give back to others.”
2021 Recipient: Pizza Ranch, Lila and Randy Bauer
Randy and Lila Bauer has been serving up pizza, chicken and community support. Lila shares that Pizza Ranch’s vision is to glorify God by positively impacting the world.
Local businesses that lead are businesses that want community to succeed. Pizza Ranch helps out, even when outside the box, you just have to ask them.
Generosity has several faces for this business. Extra food from the end of the night is shared with places and people that give important care to our community. Tip nights are every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
They put out a tip container and donate 10% of all dine in and to go sales to a different organization every night.
Help where they can, Glorify God by positively impacting the world – that is what Luverne Pizza Ranch is all about.
2020 Recipient: Rock County Star Herald
The award went to the Rock County Star Herald. The Rock County Star Herald...
• Has been at the forefront of Covid-19 prevention by supporting, promoting and modeling Covid-19 protocol.
• Kept the local public informed and up to date with current Covid-19 testing results has been a priority in addition to laboriously working with state, county, city and school officials weekly to provide the public with the information they need to stay safe and help slow the spread of the virus.
• Created a child’s insert on hand washing, masks and what it means to be safe during Covid-19. It ran for 4 weeks in an attempt to educate and calm the questions our youth may have but are afraid to ask.
• Support to nonprofits and charitable giving now spreads into the private sector during this pandemic. RCSH manager Rick Peterson states, “We’re no different than so many local business that step up when and if they can to help others. It’s not just doing the right thing, it’s more than that, it’s the culture of the local businesses to do the right thing.”
• Rick and his staff have supported local businesses and nonprofits with low or no cost advertising spaces during portions of our lock down period when hours were reduced and in some cases closed for extended periods of time so that businesses could find a way to keep going.
• Early on during the pandemic the Rock County Star Herald partnered with The Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce and KQAD/K101 for the “Rock Solid We’re in this Together” radiothon promotion that sold over $250,000 in local gift cards that went directly to local businesses.
• The staff members at the Rock County Star Herald are involved in a whole array of different volunteer organizations, including Dollars for Scholars, Alumni News, 4-H, Palace Theatre, Rock County Pheasants Forever, Luverne Area Community Foundation, Luverne Chamber of Commerce, Community Education, Census 2020, as well as delivering Meals on Wheels.
• You will always see them first in line to role model participation in local community activities and events.
2019 Recipient: Papik Motors, Luverne
• Papik Motors was created in 1990. Gary and Janine are lifelong residents of Rock County and have been not only successful business owners but successful visionaries, mentors and examples of what giving back to the community looks like.
• Papik Motors is a proud supporter of many nonprofit organizations in the community; chamber events, Palace Theatre events, area sports teams, local fundraisers, youth sponsored events, FFA scholarships and scholarships for students wishing to enter the automotive field.
• The Papik Motor Company encourages its employees to be involved in the community.
• Employees help raise funds for pink Saturdays which raises money for breast cancer awareness, Chevy youth baseball event, raising funds for youth baseball, sponsoring and volunteering as host for the monthly Bank Night free movie event for families, and has participated in Kids Against Hunger packing meals for those in need.
• When asked how Papik Motors has developed its culture for giving it was shared that it came from a National Auto Dealers convention Gary attended. He was affected by a seminar about the importance of giving back to your community. He states that Luverne has been a great place to raise a family and the quality of life is unbeatable. That’s his inspiration for leading by example at Papik Motors. They want to make their community the best it can be.
2018 Recipient: Minnwest Bank Luverne
Minnwest Bank Luverne is this year’s Outstanding Corporation or Business. Minnwest bank was founded in 1987 during the farm crisis as ownership saw how important a community bank is for a community to thrive. Minnwest Bank’s interest in serving is inspired by their founder, M. D. (Pete) McVay and is shared by their 350 plus employees who are dedicated to building and sustaining their local communities. Support of communities comes in a variety of forms and includes volunteer work, philanthropic giving, corporate programs and educational events. As a company they provide each employee up to 8 hours of paid volunteer time, and in 2017 employees volunteered more than 600 hours during work time in addition to time serving on leadership boards and making fiscal contributions. Their employees are vested in making their community a better place to live. “We want to make contributions that will make a positive impact, specifically supporting new initiatives, and programs that cover gaps in meeting the health, nutrition or educational needs for the most vulnerable people in our communities.” Although it may not be known publicly Minnwest Bank is the core supporter for the successful and long standing Luverne Child Guide Program, a program that cares for all students but has a central focus of connecting at-risk students and their families with resources in our community and school. Minnwest Bank was key in providing the seed money for the newly created SWMN CEO program, a business community lead educational offering encouraging high school students from 7 local schools to think big and create ways to use their strengths to build business and shape the future. If we look back to the reasons why they created themselves in 1987 through good times and bad Minnwest bank has been serving and steadfastly supporting the communities within their footprint. Thank you and congratulations to the leadership and employees of Minnwest Bank Luverne.
2017 Recipient: First Farmers & Merchants Bank
First Farmers & Merchants Bank of Luverne is this year’s Outstanding Corporation or Business. This award is given to a business that has created a culture of philanthropy within their organization. Leaders of FF&M share that “we are grateful to live in a community that recognizes the needs of our community.” Needs in a community cannot be met without the financial and volunteer support of businesses and community members. FF&M Bank financially supports youth programs, community fundraisers and events, educational needs, programs for senior citizens, agricultural projects and organizations, nutrition causes, health and wellness programs and preservation programs – 28 different organizations if they were all to be named. Bank employees are encouraged and supported to be involved on local boards, civic organizations and volunteer based causes. When roll call is complete their staff serves on 34 local committees and organizations. The bank cosponsors the free monthly family movie night and has served the Relay for Life and Backpack program from their beginnings. When a community need presents itslef, FF&M reacts often leading the charge with financial commitment. In house fundraising through bake sales and cash for jeans day on Fridays is used for charitable programs. Choosing to give gifts to those in need during the holiday over gifts shared with each other is another example of how FF&M bank staff put others before self. Giving of self is a family affair. Current Vice President/Branch Manager Ryan Wynia states, “Our employees are like family to us.” This environment was nurtured by former bank President Mike Engesser and we look forward to watching Ryan and his staff continue this culture. At FF&M Bank they take care of each other but together they take care of others. Congratulations to all of the employees at FF&M.
2016 Recipient: Mainstreet Financial, Nancy Van De Berg
Main Street Financial Services is this year’s Outstanding Corporation or Business. This award is given to a business that has created a culture of philanthropy within their organization. The generosity of charitable gifts given by Main Street Financial team members is not something they do because they are asked but rather they do because they believe it is the right thing to do. This philosophy comes with a strong belief that God is an awesome God and we are blessed to be a blessing to others and required to care for each other. The culture of philanthropy that has been created within the Mainstreet team started with a vision from Mike Cox and has continued to be nurtured by Nancy Van De Berg. Some of the many gifts that are so willingly shared are 5 paid hours for volunteer work, monetary gifts in honor of team members to local charities chosen by the team member, adopting a family or facility during the holidays in lieu of personal gifts and a favorite $2 Friday donation to wear blue jeans to work with quarterly proceeds being gifted to local needs. Congratulations to the team members of Main Street Financial for their generous hearts and their widespread community impact.