Thursday, March 29, 2007

Statewide Fund For Minnesotans In The Military Doubles

Thanks to recent fundraising, a statewide fund is doubling the grants it awards to Minnesota military personnel who have served in a combat zone since 2001. The Minnesotans' Military Appreciation Fund had wanted to provide $500 to all military personnel who had served in combat - but the group had to keep the amount at $250 until it reached fundraising goals. A February $1,000-a-plate fundraiser featuring New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman raised more than $900,000 for the organization.About half of the money came from Mary Lou and Leonard Hoeft, a World War II veteran and former president and chief executive of Ziegler Co. Inc., said fund spokeswoman Claudine Galloway. Now, the group will be able to award a second grant of $250 to the 3,420 Minnesota military personnel who already have been awarded a $250 grant. Eligible military personnel don't need to reapply for the second grant, but should contact the fund if their address has changed. The second grants will be mailed by the end of May.