MELISSA VANDER PLAS/NEWS LEADER
The Harmony Area Historical Society recently received a $10,000 grant from the Harmony Area Community Foundation, funded by the Southeast Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) for community collaboration. The historical society will use the funds to create a historical walking tour through the community, complete with informational kiosks along the way. From left are foundation board members Kelsey Berge, Maggie Schoepski, SMIF representative Alissa Blaha, foundation board members Samantha Stevens, Steve Donney, Aaron Bishop, historical society member Marvin Wicks, foundation board member Roxanne Johnson, historical society member Mary Lou Zombori, foundation board member Umbelina Cremer and historical society member Ralph Beastrom.
MELISSA VANDER PLAS/NEWS LEADER The Harmony Area Historical Society recently received a $10,000 grant from the Harmony Area Community Foundation, funded by the Southeast Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) for community collaboration. The historical society will use the funds to create a historical walking tour through the community, complete with informational kiosks along the way. From left are foundation board members Kelsey Berge, Maggie Schoepski, SMIF representative Alissa Blaha, foundation board members Samantha Stevens, Steve Donney, Aaron Bishop, historical society member Marvin Wicks, foundation board member Roxanne Johnson, historical society member Mary Lou Zombori, foundation board member Umbelina Cremer and historical society member Ralph Beastrom.
The Harmony Area Community Foundation (HACF) is pleased to announce the award of a $10,000 grant from Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) to the Harmony Area Historical Society (HAHS). The grant is supported through a special 30th Anniversary Community Collaboration grant round and will fund the historical society’s historic walking tour project.

The tour will include of six or more informational kiosks placed throughout Harmony. Each kiosk will have pictures, stories and other historic information about the adjacent or nearby buildings or sites. This project will be completed through collaboration with the Harmony Lions Club, HACF, Chamber of Commerce, Fillmore Central students, the city of Harmony, and interested members of the community.

According to Steve Donney, Harmony Area Community Foundation board chair and Harmony mayor, “HACF is excited to have facilitated this grant for the historical society. We are also committed to providing further funding as needed to complete the project, including additional kiosks. Special thanks to Vicky Tribon, past HACF chair, for her vision and leadership on this grant project, and Mary Lou Zombory, HAHS secretary, Marvin Wicks and Sharen Storhoff for their efforts in planning, guiding, and working towards the future completion of this project. Most importantly, thanks to the countless hours of donated time from the other Harmony Area Historical Society members to make this project a reality.”

Tribon added, “This historical project will support Harmony’s vision of community vitality by providing community pride for our residents and also will provide another tourist opportunity activity by showcasing Harmony’s history. As with so many historical projects, we need to tell the stories of those who came before us. Their trials and accomplishments have made Harmony what it is today — they have left a legacy to be proud of and to not record this history and share it with not only our immediate area but also with those visiting our community and future generations would be a travesty.”

According to Zombory, the sign project is moving along very well, with a draft of the first sign having been returned to the committee for approval.

“It is going to be phenomenal for our community,” she added. “There is so much history here and these signs will make sure it is not going to get lost.”

Zombory, Storhoff and Wicks have been organizing information for each sign and sending it to a graphic designer, Deb Paulson, in Decorah.

The historical society is planning up to 11 signs to be located through the downtown area, highlighting the community’s historic buildings.

SMIF is an economic development community foundation serving a 20-county region. It announced the special grant round at its 30th Anniversary Luncheon in October. Grants of up to $10,000 were made available to SMIF’s 23 Early Childhood Initiative coalitions and 26 community foundations to either initiate or deepen a collaborative project.

HACF’s mission is “To serve the Harmony area by supporting projects which improve the quality of life and build a stronger community.”

HACF’s focus areas include Fillmore Central Schools, public library, arts and history, parks and trails, health and environment, and community support and growth. More HACF information is available at www.harmonycommunityfoundation.com or www.harmonycommunityfoundation.org.