Annual Report 2016

Last year the Foundation set a goal of promoting new ways to build and sustain community in keeping with our mission statement, “To nurture the unique community assets of St. Anthony Park to secure a strong and vibrant neighborhood for future generations.”

One of primary new target areas was the development of leadership. To support that outcome, we created board member advocates for our various organizations and assets. We now have members assigned to each of our schools, as well as representing other important partners such as Luther Seminary, The Emily Program, and the Creative Enterprise Zone. These new positions are in addition to the ongoing relationships we have with our other non- and for-profit organizations.

We also announced a new small grant “Make it Happen” fund at our first annual “Spring Reveal” at Lake Monster Brewery. At the event, we announced our 2016 Grant Awards and welcomed new business and residential neighbors to the community.


We continue to support our schools as we partner to supplement existing programming and promote innovative new approaches in areas of art, music, environmental science, leadership and tutoring.

Once again we granted the St. Anthony Park Elementary School funding to help support artists-in-residence at every grade level. We continue our partnership with the Schubert Club/Music in the Park Series to bring internationally acclaimed musicians to play and interact with the students, and our Environmental Education Fund grant helps pay for transportation to enable annual trips to area environmental learning centers.

Murray Middle School’s Environmental Inquiry 2 program is in its 4th year with funding from our Provisional Fund. This collaboration between St. Paul Public Schools, U.S. Forestry, and Wolfridge Environmental Learning Center is designed to lift up students of color and high poverty backgrounds onto an accelerated science track as they move into high school. This year it has doubled in size and a team is working together to see how it can be replicated across the school district. It continues to be fed by another Foundation supported program that supports an annual trip to Wolfridge for eighty 7th & 8th graders to set a tone of cooperation, understanding and leadership for the school year.

This is the second year of Murray’s Class of ’65 5-year Foundation matching grant to support a partnership between the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center that integrates raptor research into core Murray academic curriculum.  The Foundation also gave 2016 grants for the Murray band and Pilot One-on-One Tutoring Program, and this year granted money for a parent community dinner hosted by a student group to promote understanding across racial and cultural boundaries. 

Como High School received a record number of grants this year. The Foundation supported a Big Brother/Big Sister partnership with Como Elementary School, Choir competitions, ELL and Special Education equipment, and band instruments. The Foundation also gave grants to other area educational organizations, including Avalon and Mid-Continent Tutoring, supplementing their regular student offerings.


As mentioned earlier, the Foundation supports a wide variety of arts in our schools. We also are mindful of keeping arts at the center of our community through our grants to the Schubert Club/Music in the Park Series to help support musical performances at our Senior Home and the Family Concert Series. This year the Foundation gave a grant to a local theater/workshop program that put on several performances of Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona. Fifteen local teenage actors came together to learn and perform. Another new grant opportunity came from Known by Heart, a local non-profit that put on writing workshops for area seniors.  


This is the third and final year of our special 15th anniversary grant to our local Transition Towns group. This important organization has solidified its place in our community’s life as an ongoing advocate for our environment. Their informative newsletter lists neighborhood events as well as providing opportunities to learn more about ways to lower our carbon footprint, and has become the “go to” source in our community for lower energy life-style solutions from solar to home canning.


Several initiatives supported by the Foundation have come to fruition in significant ways this year.  The Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) has become one of the hottest development destinations in the metro with 9 different buildings either planned, under construction, or recently completed. These include Sunrise Banks new headquarters on Wabash Avenue; Flaherty & Collins Properties’ 2700 University apartments; a 3-story office building on LaSalle, Exeter Realty’s C-& -E Flats addition; Beacon Interfaith’s apartment complex for homeless young people near University & Prior; Dominium’s proposed “600” apartment complex at the former Weyerhaeuser site on Emerald Street; and “The Ray” apartments on Charles Ave. coming in 2017. New businesses are popping up, including Lake Monster Brewery, Dogwood Coffee and Studio On Fire printing.

The Foundation also supported the process that led to the Como 2020 Small Area Plan that is largely responsible for encouraging new development like the Park 24 apartment complex completed this fall. This attractive building is home to many old and new neighbors, Knoke’s Chocolate & Nuts, and coming soon, Karta Thai restaurant. Also joining the Como retail district this year is Frattallone’s Hardware, Scarborough Fair boutique, Healing Elements yoga studio, and a relocated Post Office; the Finnish Bistro is in the midst of remodeling, and the Zvago Cooperative Housing project is on the way with more housing options next year. 

Another piece of the Como 2030 Plan had to do with safer streets, and city-community conversations are already underway around the reconstruction of Como Avenue next summer to add bike lanes, crosswalks, and a new road surface. The Foundation also worked with the city’s Safe Streets initiative to improve safety around the elementary school. Add in the almost completed Raymond Avenue construction, and you have a very busy couple of construction years in D12.

Amidst the changes, the Foundation remains committed to ensuring our community voice in all planning discussions, mindful of the necessity of neighbors having a say in St. Anthony Park’s future. We will continue to support critical non-profits, institutions, and quality of life issues. We will continue to bring neighbors together through events like the 4th of July, Art Fair, Progressive Dinner, Park B4 Dark, and Shop Home for the Holidays. We will also continue to look for ways to foster better understanding between the different racial and cultural communities here and across our city.

Officers: Jay Schrader, Chair; Jeff Blodgett, Vice-chair; Lisa Sackreiter, Secretary; Ray Dietman, Treasurer; Beth Commers, Fundraising chair; Andy McNattin, Marketing chair.

Board Members: Clay Ahrens, Jeff Blodgett, Brian Clark*, Beth Commers, Deb Cran, Chris Deming, Ray Dietman, Lindsay Drebenstedt, Paul Hanson*, Don Hedges, Sandy Jacobs, Jane Leonard*, Andy McNattin, Tony Pfaff, Lisa Sackreiter, Jay Schrader, Erica Schumacher, Amy Swenson*, Dominick Washington*,  Amy Williams and Executive Director, Jon Schumacher.

*   New 2016 Board member

2016 Spirit of the Park Award: Ann Copeland, Ida Martinson, Jo Anne Rohricht, and Ann Wynia,

YTD Fund Summary as of 9/30/16


2016 Grant Totals

Current Fund Totals

Fund Purposes




For ongoing programming




Staff Salary & supplies

Andy Boss



Undesignated endowed

Environmental Ed



Designated endowed

McKay Music



Designated endowed





*Endowed Funds provide a permanent source of granting money based on interest earned

**Our staff is a half-time Executive Director position devoted largely to programming