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Envision grant goes to museum

By Staff | Jul 12, 2019

Submitted photo Pictured are (left to right): Eric Carlson, CoBank; Steve Dockter, CEO, Envision Cooperative; Stephanie Steinke, Prairie Village Museum director; Jeremy Hasenyager, CHS Inc.

The Prairie Village Museum received $15,000 from Rugby’s Envision Co-Op at the Pierce County Fair thanks to a community grant that grew with matching contributions.

Miriah Filler of the Rugby Envision Co-Op described the grant program, titled, “Hometown Pride”, to the Tribune.

“The purpose of the grant is that you have to pick something unique to your community. So, we had actually applied for the grant on behalf of being the geographical center of North America, and then, when we found our we won, we got to choose an organization or group or non-profit that best fit.”

Filler said deciding where the funds would go was a group effort.

“With (Rugby) being the geographical center as our original application (said), we thought the museum that houses all the information for all the local communities would be the best fit. So, it wasn’t me specifically; it was a group of our employees, our CEO (Steve Dockter), someone from our energy department and our general manager decided as a group and we all kind of came back to the Prairie Village Museum.”

The original $5,000 grant came from the CHS/Cenex corporate office. The office dedicated a total of $100,000 to be disbursed to grant winners among retailers in 19 states. Five grants would be awarded per quarter during the year.

Bryan Brignac, director of marketing for CHS/Cenex’s energy division said, “The Cenex brand is all about giving back to the communities we serve. All the stations and retailers are actually locally owned and operated by folks like Steve Dockter of Envision Cooperative.

“We believe as the Cenex brand that we want to reinvest in these communities that we serve. So Cenex is proud to partner with our local business owners like Envision Co-op with plans to present $100,000 in grants to our Cenex communities across the country. All our retailers have to do is tell us about what makes their communities special or unique.”

Filler said after Rugby’s Envision store submitted their application describing Rugby’s unique distinction as North America’s geographical center, they received news of their award and chose a recipient for the grant.

“We wanted to pick something, again the Prairie Village Museum that showcases all the history of our community and a lot of local communities showing the rest of the world what makes small towns unique.”

“We first originally received $5,000 from CHS, and then Envision itself added another $2500 to that, totaling $7500,” Filler noted.

The grant money soon grew again, thanks to a program through the Rugby business’s bank.

“Through our bank, which is CoBank they have a program which is called “Sharing Success”, and they matched the $7500,” Filler said. “That’s how it got turned into the $15,000.”

Filler said the Envision store chose an event where they regularly participate the Co-Op Annual Steak Supper at the Pierce County Fair to present the checks to Prairie Village Museum Director Stephanie Steinke.

“(Seeing the grant money awarded) was something that our community would appreciate and they were going to be there, so on the night of our steak supper, we decided that would be the perfect fit showcasing that to the rest of the community,” Filler said.

Filler recalled submitting the grant application to CHS/Cenex after being urged to do so by a corporate energy specialist. She said the large number of stores applying for the grant led her to believe the odds of being chosen were slim.

“So,” Filler said, “when we got the call and found out we were one of the winners, we were shocked and surprised and extremely excited to donate. It (the amount of money awarded) just kept adding on, and that dollar amount was going to make a big impact toward someone in our community – toward the museum that we chose.”

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