Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Awards Paint Grants to Five Small Towns

OWATONNA, Minn., August 25, 2015 – Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) awarded $2,475 worth of paint from Ace Hardware to five projects across the region through our Paint The Town program. This program is a partnership between SMIF and 13 local Ace Hardware stores. It is designed to engage volunteers and build collaborative efforts that beautify communities through "Painting The Town" with a new community mural or community welcome sign.

This was the first year SMIF and Ace Hardware have partnered on Paint The Town. The 5 projects received a total of 99 gallons of paint. The grant is awarded to projects that will have a visual impact, provide a public benefit to the community, and involve volunteer participation.

This year, the following projects were awarded to these mural projects in southern Minnesota:
- 15 gallons to the City of Arlington for a mural at the Arlington Community Center
- 33 gallons to Caledonia Area Public Schools for murals throughout the Caledonia Area Elementary School
- 16 gallons to the City of Elysian, for a mural at the Elysian City Park
- 19 gallons to Spring Grove Area Past Present Future Incorporated for a community welcome mural at the Northern Engraving building
- 16 gallons to the City of Waterville for a mural at the Lions Park pavilion

“Arrow Ace Hardware is proud to be a part of the Paint The Town project,” said Dave Neiman, owner of Arrow Ace Hardware. “We are excited to work together with the SMIF to make a difference in our local communities with the welcoming vibrant colors of Clark+Kensington and Valspar paint.”

“The Paint The Town program enables small towns in our region to use art as a tool for revitalization,” said Tim Penny, SMIF President/CEO. "We are pleased to have Ace Hardware as a partner in effort.”

The mural and sign projects are expected to be completed by December 1, 2015.

About Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation
Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), a donor-supported foundation, invests for economic growth in 20 Minnesota counties. The Foundation has provided more than $50 million in grants and loans within the region during the past 29 years. SMIF's key interests include early childhood and economic development. To learn more about our work and mission, visit

About Ace Hardware
For 90 years, Ace Hardware has been known as the place with the helpful hardware folks in thousands of neighborhoods across America, providing customers with a more personal kind of helpful. With more than 4,850 hardware stores locally owned and operated across the globe, Ace is the largest hardware cooperative in the industry. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace and its subsidiaries currently operate 14 distribution centers in the U.S. and also have distribution capabilities in Shanghai, China; Panama City, Panama; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and approximately 60 countries. For more information on Ace, visit

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