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Community Involvement

Community Affairs

Sharing Our Success with the Community

3M Cottage Grove’s prosperity and success have translated into support for many community causes and organizations – support that includes financial contributions as well as volunteer efforts by many 3M employees and retirees. As Cottage Grove’s largest private employer, 3M has been a good neighbor in the city for over 60 years.

Here are some of the groups we continue working with:

Junior Achievement
Carpenter St.Croix Valley Nature Center
Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR)
Wildlife Habitat Council
Canine Exercise/Practice Facility
Youth Safety Camp
Youth Service Bureau (YSB)
Education Foundation for South Washington County Schools
Drug-Sniffing Dog
Stuff for Schools Program
3M Visiting Wizards
Paint-A-Thon and Meals on Wheels
Friends in Need Food Shelf
United Way
Stone Soup Thrift Shop
Adopt-a-Highway
Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest

The 3M Giving Story

In 2009, 3M contributed more than $48 million to address Cottage Grove and other local community needs through grants from 3M and the 3M Foundation as well as donations of 3M products. Employees and retirees participated in 75 percent of 3M giving through matching programs and service on advisory committees, nonprofit boards and community projects. And they volunteered to help countless individuals, prepare students and preserve natural resources around the world.

Carpenter St.Croix Valley Nature Center

Youth Bureau

3M has been working with the Nature Center since the 1980’s, helping to fulfill their mission: To foster appreciation and inspire stewardship of the natural world through quality environmental education, conservation practices, and outdoor experiences for visitors of all ages and capabilities.

“Together, we’ve helped restore and build the native prairie on the Cottage Grove site and worked with the site for the prairie burn,” says Jim Fitzpatrick, Executive Director. “In addition, Vickie Batroot is a very committed member of our board. And other 3M volunteers and retirees can be found donating their time around the Center.”

For additional information on the Center, visit www.carpenternaturecenter.org.

Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR)

Our partnership with Friends of the Mississippi River dates back to 2001. Working closely with FMR, our goal is to restore and protect the natural areas along the Mississippi River. Maintaining the high quality prairie of the 3M site is of prime importance, as is restoring woodlands.

“Providing connectivity to the landscape is important,” says Tom Lewanski, Conservation Director. “3M folks understand the ecological importance of the property and appreciate the natural amenities of the facilities. The staff have been wonderful.”

For more information on FMR, visit www.fmr.org.

Mississippi River
FMR Sign

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Wildlife Habitat Council

3M Cottage Grove has earned the certification of the Wildlife Habitat Council, demonstrating that we have ongoing programs and continual quality improvement plans for the management of the wildlife habitat on the site.

For more information on the Council, visit www.wildlifehc.org.

Youth Bureau3M Cottage Grove Wildlife Habitat Logo

Canine Exercise/Practice Facility

This new canine track is permanently located on the 3M Cottage Grove Test Track. The area contains obstacles and exercise opportunities that were built by the Boy Scouts and will provide years of exercising benefits to the canine units of Cottage Grove, Hastings and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

“If it weren’t for 3M, we wouldn't have such an outstanding site,” says Craig Wollery, Cottage Grove Police Chief. “It’s an excellent site – safe and secure so we can focus on training.”

Cottage Grove K9
Cottage Grove K9 Officer Mike Vandervort and his K9 partner Blitz.

Youth Safety Camp

This popular city-sponsored camp has been in place for 15 years. An integral part of the camp is bicycle safety. 3M donates safety helmets for all campers, making it possible for families who may not be able to afford one to take part.

Cottage Grove Safety Camp
Annual Youth Safety Camp has been supported by 3M Cottage Grove for over 10 years.

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Youth Service Bureau (YSB)

The Youth Service Bureau is a non-profit agency providing professional counseling and community justice services to area youth and families. Over the years, 3M has provided numerous grants, ranging from money for building updates to the new Library Leaders program. One of the most important events is the annual “Tee One Up for Kids” golf tournament, sponsored by 3M and held at our Tartan Park Golf Course.

“We have always been fortunate to have a board member from 3M Cottage Grove,” states Paul Weiler, Executive Director. “Currently Vickie Batroot sits on the board, and she provides keen insight into how to deal with this economy, how to address our non-profit goals.”

For more information on this invaluable organization, please call (651) 458-5224, or visit them on the web at www.ysb.net

YSB Youth
Youth Supported by Library Program

Education Foundation for South Washington County Schools

3M and District 833 of the South Washington County Schools (SWCS) have teamed up to offer expanded high school opportunities for college prep programs. A 3M Foundation grant helps launch Project Lead the Way (PLTW), an innovative pre-engineering program, and Navigation 101, a college and career readiness initiative.

“We have been very involved with 3M, and 3M has been a generous contributor,” states Patty Bitney-Stark, Executive Director. “The foundation has provided grants to teachers for innovative educational programs that have resulted in $500,000 – money going into schools well beyond their operating budgets. If the foundation didn't exist, these programs wouldn't exist.”

YSB Youth

Stuff for Schools Program

This valuable program provides school supplies to more than 2,000 elementary school students attending four schools in our district: Crestview, Pine Hill, Pullman and Newport Elementary.

Drug-Sniffing Dog

3M provided funding for the dog assigned to the Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Unit. “This has been a hugely successful program,” adds Bitney-Stark. “When drugs and alcohol are kept out of schools, learning can take place.”



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3M Visiting Wizards

Visiting Wizards

The goal of the 3M Visiting Wizards program is to encourage young people (grades 1-6) to become interested in science and technology by providing fascinating educational demonstrations and hands-on experiments on a variety of science topics. Visiting Wizards travel to schools throughout the Cottage Grove area.


Paint-A-Thon and Meals on Wheels Paint a Thon

3M helps hundreds of elderly citizens through our volunteers.


Friends in Need Food Shelf

Even after serving 20,000 people and giving away a million pounds of food in 2009, the need is still there.

“3M has been wonderful to us,” exclaims Michelle Rageth, Director. “3M unions have been supportive as well, with annual food and cash drives.” Rageth concludes, “Among other fundraisers, the Holiday Train is huge – Cottage Grove is almost always the most successful stop in the country.”

To learn more, visit www.friendsinneedfoodshelf.org.

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United Way

“3M has always been a United Way partner,” states Tara Donohue Weiss, Executive Director, United Way of Hastings. “Grants from the 3M Foundation help us carry out our community initiatives, and 3M employees make significant contributions as well.”


Stone Soup Thrift Shop

The Stone Soup mission: To engage the community in supporting families and individuals by providing access to gently used clothing, household items, and furniture in a convenient, dignified manner.

“For years, 3M has provided grants and made donations to Stone Soup,” says Majel Carroll, Board President. “In addition, 3M employees and retirees volunteer, helping us maintain an attractive, organized store.”

For more information, visit www.stonesoupthriftshop.org.


Adopt-a-Highway

3M employees have adopted a 2.4 mile section along Highway 61, between Kimbro and Jamaica.

Adopt a HWY
Cottage Grove adopt-a-highway team Spring 2010


Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest

3M has been supporting this fun-filled four-day event for many years. For updates on the event, visit www.cottagegrovestrawberryfest.com.

Strawberry Festival Logo Nascar

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3M Employess Make 2010 Food Shelf Fund-Raiser a Huge Success

Food Shelf Fund-Raiser
Left to Right: Brenda Shelby Vazquez - 3M Cottage Grove HR Supervisor, Laurie Chapman, Hastings
Family Service, Fred Benson, Prescott Area Food Shelf, Joe Fuchs - 3M Cottage Grove USW President


3M employees answered the call as the 3M Cottage Grove United Steel Workers Union held a fund-raiser in support of Prescott and Hastings Family Services. The food shelf assists many local families who sometimes have a difficult time making ends meet. Due to the current economic conditions, the need this year is particularly high.

Cottage Grove employees spent a day collecting donations from employees at the

Building entrances at the Cottage Grove plant.

Best of all were the results – more was collected this year than any previous year.

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Charity Begins with a Good Drive, and 3M Delivers

What could be more fun – and deliver more results – than a golf tournament for those in need.

Youth Bureau
Gayle Carlin and Patti Lynch (right) ran the 3M hole
sponsorship at the Chamber tournament.

“Cottage Grove Annual Chamber of Commerce Golf Classic” 3M employees Tom Flicker and B.J. Brown were on the team that organized and coordinated this Chamber tournament held at the River Oaks Golf Course. The tournament funds college scholarships for community youth.

YSB Tournament
Left to Right - Henry Kretman, Jeff Cheever, Rick Finn & Mike Ricci
Tee One Up for the YSB Tournament.

Annual “Tee One Up for Kids” Tournament Held at 3M Tartan Park, the proceeds from this tournament help overcome the financial barriers to many counseling opportunities offered by the Youth Service Bureau in the Cottage Grove and South Washington County area.

Youth Bureau
Left to Right - Jon Etter, Paul Gerbec, Julie Arndtson & Vickie Batroot team-up for the Carpenter Nature Center Tournament

Carpenter Nature Center “St. Croix Valley Scramble” Funds raised at this tournament help support many different environmental education programs at the Nature Center. Programs are then more affordable to area schools, and approximately 7,000 students enjoy the benefits.

Youth Bureau

“Cottage Grove Police Federation Golf Tournament” Held at the Mississippi Dunes Golf Course, the proceeds from this event are donated to the Cottage Grove Police Federation.


Employee Close-Up
Meet the Folks of 3M Cottage GroveVolunteering

“PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM LUPUS”

“People suffering from lupus lead a tough enough life … it’s a pleasure to do what little I can.”
Pat McDonough, Procurement Analyst, Plant Engineering

Community Affairs
Pat McDonough

Probably like many of us, Pat didn’t know anything about lupus until he met his fiancée who has lupus. Now he’s heavily involved with the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota. In fact, he was their 2003-04 Volunteer of the Year.

Pat’s talents and interests are put to invaluable use in the fundraising area. He was instrumental in getting a tie-in with the Midwest Comic Book Association’s annual convention at the Fair Grounds. The Association provided booth space for the Lupus Foundation, contributed part of the entrance fees to the Foundation and held an art auction which raised money for the Foundation.

As a professional musician, Pat suggested – then organized – a concert at the walk’s end at Minnehaha Falls. Many musicians volunteered and came at 5:00 a.m. to put up equipment. Pat also arranged for donations of food and beverages. The concert generated significant additional cash donations.

In 2008, Pat produced a music CD – “From a Whisper to a Roar” – with all proceeds to benefit the Foundation. He collected a variety of music tracks from acts all over the city.

Pat was a Twin Cities rock musician in the 70s and 80s – a guitarist, singer and songwriter with Dark Horse and other bands. He has been with 3M for 28 years.

What is Lupus?
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body – skin, joints, and/or organs. Autoimmune means the body’s immune system cannot tell the difference between foreign invaders and healthy tissue. So the body creates autoantibodies that attack
and destroy healthy tissue, causing inflammation, pain and damage. Currently there is no cure for lupus.

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Employee Close-up
Meet the Folks of 3M
Cottage GroveVolunteering

“AS SPECIAL OLYMPICS VOLUNTEERS”

“As Special Olympics volunteers, our family has enjoyed some amazing experiences.”
Steve Kasel, Building/Business Furnace Operator

Community Affairs
Steve Kasel

Steve spends much of his spare time supporting and coaching the Special Olympics Team of Area 12, The Hastings Sharks. His daughter has been involved for seven years, participating in
a number of sports: polyhockey (similar to floor hockey), basketball, track, golf and bowling.

Steve’s son is also a volunteer and participates with his sister in three of the sports. In addition to coaching, Steve and his wife are in charge of checking equipment, including safety equipment, and keeping careful records.

Steve sits on Area 12’s board, as part of the Local Sports Management Team. As a Level 3 coach, he had to undergo specialized training. In addition to working with the athletes, coaches have to make sure everyone is in place at area, state, national and international games and oversee the events.

“One of the highlights, and there are many, was our daughter’s participation for Team USA in the International Games in Shanghai, China in 2007,” exclaims Steve. “And this year she’ll be a member of Team Minnesota at the national games in Lincoln, Nebraska.”

Because the team has quite a few local sponsors, the Kasels don’t have to spend a lot of time fundraising. The annual Polar Plunge is the exception. This cool fundraiser raises money for all the Special Olympics teams of Minnesota; it was held on February 18 at Prior Lake.

With each sport lasting 1-1/2 to 2 months, Steve and his family don’t get much of a break during the year. “But it’s all worth it,” says Steve. “Watching these athletes grow and improve in their sports is amazing.”


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