Why We Gather: To Get Big Things Done

One of the Eden Prairie traditions the Foundation is proud to preserve is a December gathering of community leaders and volunteers that was started in the late-1970s by Suburban National Bank, the precursor to today’s Flagship Bank.

The Foundation and Flagship Bank continue this 40-year-old annual event because it’s important to say thanks to people who are helping make Eden Prairie great; people who are “community builders.” (That includes Carlos Berger and Alfonso Chicre, two Foundation board members pictured above.)

On Dec. 11, we feted more than 90 such persons at the annual Community Leaders Luncheon held at Bearpath Golf & Country Club. The crowd included folks from city government, the school district, our local legislators, presidents of Eden Prairie civic organizations, and representatives from the many nonprofits that form Eden Prairie’s “safety net.”

But in addition to recognizing these leaders’ contributions, the luncheon is meant to spark new relationships and collaborations.
You see, the Foundation and Flagship Bank are firm believers in the maxim, “We Do Better Together.” Most of our civic groups have 50 active members or fewer, and the majority of our nonprofits have only a couple of staff members. So, none of Eden Prairie’s bigger problems will be solved unless we partner with each other.

The Foundation extends this collaborative work with its monthly gatherings of nonprofit leaders – the so-called Nonprofit Coffee Klatch – and by encouraging grant applications that have multiple local funders.

You may wonder why the Foundation would use a share of its donor support to fund a free lunch for community leaders. It’s because great work can result – one example being a collaboration currently underway to tackle the school achievement gap head-on with additional help for hard-to-reach households containing preschoolers.

So, thank you for the support that allows us to continue this great event, with Flagship Bank’s help. It’s a gathering that helps make things happen.

Mark Weber About the Author Mark Weber has been the executive director of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation since October 2013. In this role, he enjoys meeting with Eden Prairie residents, and being an active member of the community. If you’d like to connect with Mark, call him at (952) 949-8499 or email him. You can also read Mark’s full biography.

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Eden Prairie Community Foundation

OUR MISSION: Enriching our community through philanthropy, collaboration and leadership.

OUR VISION: Enhancing the quality of life for all who live and work in our community.

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8080 Mitchell Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

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