Volunteers are the heart and hands of the Edina Community Foundation. Their generous donation of time and energy makes our programs possible. From individuals to civic groups and corporations, volunteers are the service multipliers who grow our capacity in providing for our community.
Interested in volunteering? Connect with us here.
Thank you, volunteers!
The Foundation benefits from the services of dozens of volunteers who contribute their time and talent to help make its programs successful. Many of our sponsored programs are organized by volunteer committees who serve with the following chairs:
4th of July Parade -- Tom Gump and Leslie Grothe
Edina Reads -- Maureen Millea Smith (co-sponsored with the Edina Library)
Meet the honored volunteers
Each year, individuals who have displayed exceptional passion and commitment in volunteering through the Edina Community Foundation are honored at the annual City of Edina Volunteer Awards Reception.
2019: Jim and LaRae Hovland received our first Servant Leader Award. Jim served on our Board of Directors for 25 years, including service as our treasurer for six years and as our president for an additional ten years. LaRae has served as Jim's personal support team member during this quarter century, both for his work on our Board and also for his work during the past 14 years as Edina's Mayor. Jim and LaRae have been leaders in financially supporting Foundation programs as well as many of the Community Impact Funds for which we serve as a Charitable Partner. The Edina Community Foundation took great pleasure in celebrating their dedicated and enthusiastic service, leadership and generosity by honoring both of them as Servant Leaders.
2018: Leslie Grothe was responsible for booking entertainment groups for the 2018 Edina 4th of July Parade, arguably the hardest position on the parade team. She handled the job with a grace and poise, showing that she is one of those unique individuals that not only has the passion to serve our community, but does so in a joyful way that is contagious to her fellow volunteers.
2017: Hilary Santoni is the co-founder and volunteer Managing Director of Minnehaha Music, an organization that strives to enhance classical music in the community. For the last four years, she has arranged rehearsal places and times for the all-volunteer orchestra, developed relationships with the arts community, helped with fundraising efforts, and organized its annual fall concert with over 30 musicians performing. Hilary serves as the designated fund representative for Minnehaha Music's partnership with ECF, and she is also a member of the Music in Edina working group of the City's Arts and Culture Commission.
2016: Maureen Millea Smith has helped lead Edina Reads since its inception by ECF and the Edina Library in 2015. Maureen has planned and organized over 50 programs that have allowed more than 1,500 Edina Reads participants to interact with authors in just about every genre's biography, business, children's books, fiction, history and poetry.
2015: Mamie Segall has served as Chair of the Edina Challenge Team since its inception in 2013. She organized the Edina Challenge Team of representatives from 14 community organizations, and her leadership skills and commitment have been a real inspiration to the Team. We are grateful to Mamie for bringing Edina challenge to life and for helping our community address the needs of some 850 children in Edina who live in or near poverty.
2014: John Swon chaired the Foundation's 4th of July Parade Committee in 2013 and 2014, and has proven himself an able leader and organizer of Edina's largest annual celebration. He has also served as chair of the Edina Film Festival since its inception in 2011 as a fundraiser for the Edina Art Center.
2013: Mary and Tom Lavelle made a major leadership contribution to the Edina community by chairing the 2010 and 2012 Health and Wellness Expos. Their superb effort on behalf of the Foundation and the Edina Resource Center led to collaboration with Fairview Southdale Hospital, Southdale YMCA, Edina Community Education Services, Edina Federated Women's club, the City of Edina, Bloomington Public Health, and Welcyon to create a true community event for a broad range of participants.
2012: Richard Olson has served for the last four years as the chair of our 4th of July Parade. He has organized a very effective and efficient committee that selects and oversees the community groups and entertainment units that together make this one of the best parades in Minnesota, with all the classic ingredients—flags, veterans, horses, politicians, kids, bands, floats and candy—all in Edina's small town setting.
2011: We recognized the collaborative effort of some two dozen other Edina organizations and their leaders oat the Annual Reception who had participated in our various programs and thus helped us fulfill our mission of Strengthening Our Community.
2010: Paul Thompson founded Cool Planet, a nonprofit organization with programs ranging from neighborhood energy efficiency to intergenerational flying disc play sessions. Paul organized the Foundation's Edina Dialogue event in August 2009, was a key planner of the Edina Day of Service in October, 2009, and attended the United National Copenhagen Climate Conference in December 2009 as an ambassador from Edina and its Energy & Environment Commission.
2009: Carol Retherford, for leadership of our annual Holiday Home Tour in 2007 and 2008. Sarah Miller, for leadership of the first ever Bowling for Love event that benefited the Van Valkenburg Children's Fund.
2008: Betty Hemstad, for her more than 25 years of service to the Foundation, beginning with her work as Chair of our Edinamite Ball in 1981. Betty also chaired the 1988 Ball that celebrated Edina's Centennial and has served as Secretary and President of the Foundation. She served on the Edina Public Art Committee and was a key member of our 30th Anniversary Gala committee in the Fall of 2007.
2007: Carol Sidell and Lou Blemaster, as Co-Chair and Volunteer Coordinator, respectively, of our 2006 Holiday Home Tour that was widely acclaimed by homeowners and guests alike.
2006: Jean Colwell, for her leadership of our 2005 Holiday Home Tour, and Emily Triggs, for her distinctive contribution as a high school junior to an Edina Reads panel discussion on Character and Courage in Personal and Professional Life.
2005: Cindy Bingham, for her assistance with our 2004 Holiday Home Tour, and Pat Tucker, for her work on our Fall Mail Campaign.
2004: Ede Donovan, for her organization of our historical records and donor database.
2003: Karen Bohn, Chuck Mooty, and Clint Schroeder, for their service on our Development Committee.