“2001 Committee” was organized to position certain community betterment initiatives by the year 2001. The first 2001 Conference was held with leaders attending from communities within ISD 728. Some of the suggested invitees were Citizens League, Youth facilities, Arts Study, Mississippi River Development and Year-Around School.
September 19, 1987:
The second 2001 Community Conference identifies the creation of a community foundation as a potential economic development tool. An ad- hoc Elk River Area Foundation Committee, composed of Ted Cornelius, Don Heinzman, Vonna Henry, Peter Kimball, John Kuester, Harald Palm and Bill Pollard, begins to study the feasibility of the creation of a local foundation. Encouraged by a growing positive response, supporters organize to make the proposed foundation a reality. Co-Chaired by Jim Simpson and Vonna Henry, the group performs a number of tasks that set the stage for the birth of what will eventually become the Three Rivers Community Foundation. The group was enlarged to include Carol Mills, Dawn Moyer, Chuck Christian and Peggy Dahlheimer.
February 25, 1989:
The Committee makes a recommendation at a follow-up 2001 Conference to establish a local community foundation.
August 4, 1989:
The group agrees to a five-year, trial affiliation with the Central Minnesota Initiative Fund (CMIF), during which time the foundation will function as an operating division of CMIF. Affiliation with CMIF enables any gifts to the foundation to meet all IRS requirements for charitable donations. The foundation is officially named the Greater Elk River Area Foundation. Members of the founding Board include Linda Lee-Chair, Chuck Christian-Vice Chair, Vonna Henry-Secretary, Peggy Dahlheimer, Don Heinzman, Peter Kimball, John Kuester, Carrol Mills, Dawn Moyer, Harald Palm, Bill Pollard and Jim Simpson.
September 27, 1990:
The Greater Elk River Area Foundation holds an official kick-off luncheon at the Riverwood Conference Center. During this event, The Bank of Elk River announces a $10,000 pledge.
January 17, 1991:
The Greater Elk River Area Foundation officially changes its name to the Three Rivers Community Foundation to better define its service area.
June 5, 1992:
The fifth annual Best Ball Golf Day, sponsored by Century 21 Christian and Christian Builders, raises $10,000 for the TRCF Endowment. Seven subsequent events during the year continue to raise substantial additional funds for TRCF.
July 15, 1993:
TRCF holds its first planning retreat.
TRCF and CMIF agree to another five-year partnership agreement.
March 12, 1994:
TRCF held an all-day retreat. Many long-term topics were discussed and plans developed. TRCF joined all of the service area chambers of commerce.
March 30, 1994:
The TRCF endowment goes over the $100,000.
TRCF awards three separate grants of $1,000 each to Friends of the Library-Rogers, Rogers-Hassan Community Club and the Elk River Area Arts Council. In November, two additional grants totaling $3,600 are awarded to The Village Family Service Center and Rivers of Hope, bringing the Year 1 total to $6,600.
January 19, 1995:
The Bank of Elk River pledges an additional $10,000.
April 19, 1995:
First National Bank of Elk River agrees to pledge $10,000.
June 3, 1995:
Golf day netted $29,100.
February 19, 1997:
Mr. and Mrs. Evenson donated $10,000, matched by General Mills for a total of $20,000, for a scholarship in memory of their daughter, Charity. The Evenson’s hope was to offer the first scholarship in the year 2000, the year Charity would have graduated. Their goal is to offer four, $500 scholarships the first year and two per year after that. The $10,000 from the Evenson’s will be matched for TRCF by the McKnight Foundation.
August 20, 1997:
Golf Tournament netted a total of $20,225.
March 18, 1998:
TRCF gets its own Post Office Box (558).
May 20, 1998:
TRCF had $13,000 to give in grants and requests totaling $34,662. Grants recommended for approval were: Handke Involved Parents ($250), St. Andrew Catholic School ($900), Rivers of Hope ($4,000), United Cerebral Palsy of Central MN ($2,500) Arts Alliance ($1,500), and ISD 728 Community Education ($3,000).
June 17, 1998:
The Christian Best Ball Golf Tournament raises $23,519.79. It was the result of $40,923.11 in gross income and $17,403.32 in total expenses.
September 16, 1998:
In less than a decade of existence, TRCF raised $500,000.
October 9, 1999:
TRCF celebrates its 10th year anniversary.
TRCF and the Initiative Foundation (formerly CMIF) agree to another five-year partnership agreement.
November 15, 2000:
The 2000 Golf Tournament showed a profit of $22,960.83. The foundation has $78,250 for grant applications, half for November and the other half for May, 2001.
January 17, 2001:
TRCF authorized $66,418 for grants. The largest single grant awarded was given to Parent Involvement Group for $35,200 to fund computers for a new lab at Salk Junior High School. This is the largest single grant ever given by TRCF.
September 19, 2001:
TRCF has $34,801 available for grants for the fiscal year.
January 22, 2002:
A first-ever TRCF brochure is produced.
July 15, 2003:
TRCF is added to the United Way organization list.
June 15, 2004:
Pledges and contributions for the new Josh Richardson fund totaled in excess of $110,000, plus more with matching funds. The Board thanked Chuck Christian for his personal efforts and commitment to making the new fund almost immediately viable.
September 21, 2004:
The foundation has $25,000 for granting; however, the board authorized $10,000 for granting due to the economy.
June 21, 2005:
The board moved $66,000 to TRCF restricted funds.
June 27, 2006:
The Golf Tournament proceeds were approximately $25,000 and with a match equals $29,000.
March 12, 2007:
The Grant and Scholarship Committee recommended using 75% of the available $30,350 for scholarships and 25% for grants. They suggested increasing the individual scholarship amounts from $500 to $1,000 each.
TRCF held its first gala to recognize outstanding volunteer leaders in its service area. Those receiving leadership awards were Vance Zehringer from Elk River, Rose Cassady from Otsego, Jack Hines from Rogers, and Julie Miller from Zimmerman. Chuck Christian received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with TRCF. In making the presentation, Bill Christian said his father was selected because he is responsible for contributing $387,000 to the foundation through golf tournament receipts and sponsorships.
January 20, 2009:
For the first time in TRCF history, the funds (endowment) dropped between 10 to 20 percent and were below corpus. The Board recommended suspending spending and not moving forward with any grants or scholarships that year. Ed Babcock and The Bank of Elk River donated $10,000 for 10 individual scholarships of $1,000 each.
May 25, 2010:
TRCF held a retreat/workshop to brainstorm and discuss opportunities and challenges within the Three Rivers area. Many ideas were noted and plans were made to accomplish goals. One of the outcomes was to establish a Marketing/Communications committee. The committee provided leadership to update the mission of TRCF, create a new logo and tag line for TRCF and create a Pledge/Contribution card for the Gala. The group began work to create a new TRCF Web site.
TRCF expanded the Board to 17 people by bringing on six talented new board members.
The annual golf event netted an unprecedented $50,000, which was matched by the Initiative Foundation. This $100,000 pushed the TRCF endowment to over one million dollars for the first time in its existence. Robin Christian, co-coordinator of the golf event, was given the 2012 Lifetime Achievement award.