WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     Walnut Grove — It was a gala event with attendees enjoying a catered meal of roast beef with all the trimmings. In addition to the dinner, guests were also entertained by the music of ‘Boots and V,’ Steve LeBoutillier and Tom Vondracek,  playing and singing old favorites.

    About 50 Foundation supporters attended the first annual fund raising banquet last Friday night at the Walnut Grove Community Center. The banquet was to announce grant award winners for the year.

    The WAGF was organized in  1996, since that time the organization has awarded over $100,000 in grants to area organizations and community projects, and scholarships.

    Since the organization of the foundation, contributions have exceeded over $324,000,  and the current endowment fund is over $264,000. Money for the annual grants and scholarships is generated from the interest from the endowment fund.

    The foundation continues to work towards its fund raising goal, which came from a challenge grant from its partner Southwest Initiative  Foundation. The grant is a dollar for dollar match up to $25,000, for its permanent endowment fund. So far this year over $5,000 has been raised towards the challenge grant.

    Of course the more the endowment fund  increases the more the foundation can  return to the community each year.

    Following the dinner, WGAF Treasurer Dave Hemp announced the 2014 award winners. He said over $40,000 in grants were requested, however there was just $13,000 available. Beside the $4,000 in scholarships, awards were made to the Family Festival, second grade elementary class, and the elementary library.

    The banquet was a big success with favorable comments from those attending.