Virginia Community Foundation Elects New Board Members

The Virginia Community Foundation announces the election of Brad Scott and Beth Pierce to serve on its Board of Directors.

Brad Scott is the Dean of Athletics at Minnesota North College. Brad was the Director of Development for the Mesabi Range College Foundation from 2015 – 2018. During this time, he successfully built relationships with business and industry on the Iron Range. Brad’s community involvement includes Arena Facilitator Rock Ridge Youth Hockey, Mesabi East Foundation board member, Eveleth-Gilbert Recreation Board Member, Rock Ridge Youth Hockey board member, and Youth softball, baseball, and hockey coach. Brad’s passion and goal for the Iron Range and is to see its communities flourish and continue to be sustainable so his children are able to live, work and raise their families here.

Beth Pierce is the Executive Director of the Iron Range Tourism Bureau, a nonprofit destination marketing organization serving ten Iron Range communities. She was appointed Governor Tim Walz to the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission and is a board member of the Minnesota Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, the Minnesota Arrowhead Committee, Superior National Forest Scenic Byway Council and Club Mesabi. The Foundation is thrilled to welcome Brad and Beth and their leadership to the Foundation.

In addition, the Foundation is excited to announce the election of Greg Gilness as the newly appointed chair, Mark Kovacich as Vice-chair, Polly Podpeskar as Treasurer and Marieta Johnson as Secretary.


The Foundation recently held a Light Standard Recognition Reception for three of its outgoing Board of Directors. Kerry Waschke-Collie, Laura Bachschneider and Erik Wedge were presented with the light standard, a miniature replica of Virginia’s Fifth Avenue light post. They served three – three-year terms on the Foundation Board.




Virginia Community Foundation Awards Grants to Local Organizations

The Virginia Community Foundation announces the recipients of its final grant cycle for 2022.

Friends of the Library  $3,712.00

The Friends of the Library Fund was established to support literature and learning though assistance to the Virginia Public Library including capital projects, materials, and programming.

This grant will help provide funding to update the Children’s Room at the Virginia Public Library. New shelving will provide easier access to picture books and easy read books for its youngest library visitors and their caregivers. Along with housing books, the Friends of the Library (FOTL) plan to use the shelving top to display art, Lego builds, and other creations made by children at library events. These new units will tie together the renovation of the children’s room making a welcome space for visitors and help children find the books they love to read.



Pictured: Jan Pepelnjak, FOTL – Treasurer; Dean Squires, FOTL Member; Arlene Jershe, FOTL Member; Carol Gunderson, FOTL – President; Stephanie Wichlasz, Children’s Librarian; Jo Johnson, FOTL – Secretary; Holly Lundgren, VCF Executive Director; Jodi Grebinoski, Library Director




Rock Ridge Education Fund – $6,561.00

The Rock Ridge Education Fund (formerly known as the Virginia Education Fund) was established to support community connections to the classroom, to enhance available school resources, to enrich learning experiences, and to provide the best educational opportunities for all students in with ISD 2909, Rock Ridge Public Schools.

Wolverine Fund – $2,688.00

The Wolverine Fund (formerly known as the Blue Pride Fund) was established to support for co-curricular activities as defined by the Minnesota State High School League within ISD 2909, Rock Ridge Public Schools.




Pictured: Holly Lundgren, VCF Executive Director; Advisory Committee Members: Troy Caddy; Josh Lamppa; Mark Winter; Jamie Lindseth, Lindsey Engel, Nicole Culbert-Dahl (School Board liaison); Todd Griepentrog; Scott Manni; Willie Spelts




City of Virginia – $19,765.00

The historic Olcott Park Fountain received over a million dollars from private and public funds to refurbish this beloved treasure and ensure that it is enjoyed by generations to come. In the 2013 Park and Recreation Master Plan it was noted that the entrance should be repurposed so as to take advantage of the architectural stone and metalwork features. The Olcott Park Entrance Project – Phase 1 will address the accessibility into and out of Olcott Park at the Ninth Street North entrance along with providing an aesthetically pleasing entrance and exit to the most utilized park in the Virginia Park and Recreation Park system. The Olcott Park Brewfest Committee has recognized this project as a desirable project in need of funding and has also committed funds toward it.


The Virginia Community Foundation has built a permanent endowment through the charitable giving of its generous residents and businesses.  This philanthropic partnership has allowed the Foundation to award impactful grants to make our community a better place to live, work and play. To learn more about the Foundation and how to give, visit the website at or contact us at or (218) 749-2253. Your donation to the Virginia community Foundation today is an investment in our community for a better tomorrow. Follow us on Facebook: Virginia, Minnesota Community Foundation!



NewsLight Newsletter

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December 2021
The Virginia Community Foundation's new Executive Director sent a letter in place of a Newsletter. Unforeseen events and Covid-19 created an environment ready for change. In anticipation of a new format for the Foundation webpage and newsletter, contact with our many supporters will be in letter form until the end of 2022.
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Summer 2018
Restoring Olcott Park.
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Summer 2016
Lou’s Closet Fund grows to meet new needs in our schools.
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Winter 2015
Need Filled by Anonymous Donor
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Summer 2012
Mural Committee Marches On!
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Summer 2011
This is a time of positive change for the Foundation! Click here to read about a new fund, new staff, and see our 2011 grant recipients.
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Fall/Winter 2010
P & H MinePro Services Donation to Fund for the Arts, Linda Niskanen’s Farewell, Veteran’s Mural Update
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Spring/Summer 2010
Share our vision
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