One of this organization’s founding board members, Duane Pidcock, passed away Dec. 12. Another member of the board that formed the Community Foundation in 1981, Dean Edstrom, probably described it best when he wrote that Duane “deserves a major share of the credit for getting the Foundation off to a successful start and continuing thereafter.”
Among other things, Duane was responsible for coming up with the organization’s major fundraiser – the Eden Prairie Foundation Ball (photos from the first Ball are shown above) – and leading it for several years. In this role he was nothing less than a force of nature: setting high expectations and standards, and making committee members, and himself, accountable.
I can tell you firsthand that the Foundation Ball was Eden Prairie’s social event of the year, with nearly every community organization taking part. Valet parking was needed? Well, volunteer firefighters were recruited to help. Someone needed to check coats? Eden Prairie High School students filled that role. On and on it went.
The Ball became a part of Duane’s legacy, but it wasn’t his only contribution to the community. I invite you to read his Star Tribune obituary to learn about other important organizations he helped build, including the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce.
As a community journalist embedded in Eden Prairie from 1979 to well past 2000, one who witnessed the rapid development and change that took place here in the 1980s and ‘90s, I can tell you that we who reside here today benefit from the hard work done by Duane and a legion of other involved people of that time. People who started and drove organizations like the Rotary clubs, the Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce, and many others.
Those active community people weren’t always of one mind, and they certainly didn’t have the same personality. But they worked well together on a common cause: making Eden Prairie great. I think we can all conclude they did pretty well in this regard.
So, we express our condolences but also thanks to the Pidcock family – thanks for sharing Duane so he could provide to Eden Prairie all that hard work and commitment. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and those shoulders are broad and strong.