Minot's Scheels store has made Christmas much brighter for numerous community organizations. All were recipients of sizable donations. On behalf of Scheels, Aaron Schmitz, store manager, made the presentations to 40 organizations at the local store Friday morning.
"It's very fun and it's great to be able to give back to the community like this," said Schmitz. "It's nice to be able to hand out some substantial checks to some great organizations. It's a great time of year too, Christmas."
The largest donation was $74,000 to the United Way. And $10,000 was given to Dream Catchers as part of Scheels three-year commitment to help build the Dream Catchers field in Minot. Area soup kitchens each received checks for $2,500. All recipients expressed their appreciation for the timely donations.
Aaron Schmitz, Scheels manager, presents a check to members of the Christ Lutheran Church Soup Kitchen. Forty local organizations were recipients of donations during a presentation ceremony Friday morning at Scheels.
"It's awesome because we need it to buy food," said Joyce Sand, coordinator of the food pantry at Our Lady of Grace Church. "I've been buying more food this year than I ever have in the 10 years that I've been here. We just needed this. It is a great blessing for us."
Other organizations were equally grateful. Doris Olson and Arlene Hanson have worked "Katie's Kitchen" at Christ Lutheran Church for more than 10 years. They were very pleased to accept a cash donation.
"This is great. This is wonderful what Scheels is doing," said Olson.
"What wonderful timing. We are very impressed," added Hanson.
Checks of various amounts were presented to organizations such as Youth for Christ, Ward County Historical Society, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch and the Domestic Violence Crisis Center among others. A few organizations, like the Boy Scouts, received help of a different sort. The Scouts received a check to purchase a moving dolly, which was beyond the means of their budget, and were handed a much needed projector.
"We needed a projector for the training sessions for our leaders. This hooks up to the computer," said John Bills, District Boy Scouts finance chairman. "This is great. Scheels has always been part of the community and very helpful to a lot of organizations. I think this shows why they are a well respected business here."
Handshakes and sincere thank you's were plentiful during and after Friday's presentations. There were many emotional moments too, making it readily apparent that the donations arrived at a particularly good time.
"That's good," said Schmitz. "They would hard all year round. It is nice to be able to give them a little extra at Christmas time to make their day a little brighter."