Minnesota Community Action Partnership

100 Empire Drive, Suite 202  Saint Paul, MN 55103  651-645-7425  Fax 651-645-7399

For Immediate Release: Tuesday September 18, 2012
The Minnesota Community Action Partnership will honor some very special people, who have been outstanding leaders in service and community this past year, at its annual conference in Rochester on Wednesday September 19. Among those being celebrated are two exceptional individuals who have been nominated and selected by their peers to receive awards that recognize extraordinary efforts that have made a real difference in improving the lives of their fellow Minnesotans. Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter will receive the “Steve Chadwick Award.” Steve Chadwick was highly regarded as the “conscience” of Community Action. This annual award was created to honor his legacy after he was tragically struck down by cancer in 1995. Individuals chosen to receive this award are Community Action Board, staff, or program participants who exemplify the same qualities that Steve brought to his work to end poverty in his Duluth community and around the state: a persistent commitment to ending poverty, an effective advocate in fighting the root causes of poverty, and a true leader in their local and larger community. Commissioner Carter’s local Community Action Agency, the Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties (CAPRW), nominated her as a shining example of all of these qualities. Both as CAPRW’s Board Chair, where she has been an active leader in cutting edge and impactful anti-poverty efforts, as well as her tireless efforts to improve the quality of life for all citizens of Ramsey County, Commissioner Carter embodies the spirit of Community Action and the fight to end poverty. Alana Hughes, Program Director for Kootasca Community Action based in Grand Rapids, will be awarded the “Allies in Action Award,” honoring low-income individuals who have worked with their local Community Action Agency to overcome barriers and obstacles to reach their goals for greater self-reliance, and who are viewed as allies in statewide efforts to end poverty. Alana began her connection to Community Action as a single parent enrolled in the Head Start Program. She worked tirelessly to achieve her undergraduate degree, secured fulltime employment with the Blandin Foundation and become a first-time home owner all while volunteering for numerous local non-profit organizations focused on improving life for her fellow Community members. Alana serves as a role model and inspiration for so many, and continues to give back to her community in greater dividends than she received. Three “Outstanding Saver Awards” will be presented to individuals who have overcome barriers and obstacles to achieve their goal of Home ownership, Education, or Small Business Start/Expansion through Community Action’s Family Assets for Independence in Minnesota (FAIM) Program. FAIM provides financial education and matched savings accounts to low income households seeking to acquire financial education and a financial asset that will assist them in achieving economic stability and success. This year’s award winners are:

100 Empire Drive | Suite 202 | Saint Paul, MN 55103 | www.MinnCAP.org

Dave Hulett, who worked with Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin (CAPSH) to launch his small business; Irina LaPoint, who worked with Tri-County Acton Program (Tri-CAP) in St. Cloud to achieve her higher education degree; Colleen Chasko, who worked with Community Action Duluth to become a first-time homeowner. We celebrate the unique and important contributions of all of these remarkable individuals, while also recognizing twenty-six people who are marking 25 years of dedicated public service to Community Action this year. These are the people who put the “action” into Community Action! Community Action Agencies were established in 1965 as a program of President Johnson’s historic War on Poverty. Today, the Community Action Network serves all eighty-seven counties and is Minnesota’s largest statewide nonprofit social services network. Minnesota’s twenty-seven local Community Action Agencies provide a broad range of services to meet the needs of local citizens including Head Start, Energy Assistance, Weatherization, affordable housing, food support, senior services, financial literacy, emergency assistance and other locally-determined programs. For more information contact: Arnie Anderson, Executive Director Minnesota Community Action Partnership (MinnCAP) www.MinnCAP.org P: 651-645-7425 x4 Clarence Hightower, Executive Director Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties (CAPRW) http://www.caprw.org/ P: 651-603-5951 Jim Woehrle, Interim Executive Director KOOTASCA Community Action http://www.kootasca.org/ P: 218-327-6710

100 Empire Drive | Suite 202 | Saint Paul, MN 55103 | www.MinnCAP.org