Annual Grant Cycle 2017: Edgar & Hannah Hetteen Leave a Legacy

The Edgar and Hannah Hetteen Fund serves as a lasting legacy for two very generous community members. During the Community Foundation’s Annual Grant Cycle each fall, the Hetteen Fund is the largest source of funding for requests to support people in need. This includes feeding hungry kids through the Kids Backpack Program at Second Harvest North Central Food Bank, purchasing new beds through the “A Bed To Sleep In” program at the Salvation Army, supporting the operations of the Home Visitor Program and the Community Café, and many more. In total, over $240,000.00 has been granted from this fund in the past five years. As the endowment continues to grow, so too will Edgar and Hannah’s Legacy.

For many, the name Edgar Hetteen conjures up visions of old snowmobiles trudging across arctic ice. That image makes sense considering he was the co-founder of Polaris Industries and founder of Arctic Cat and ASV. Around the office of the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation, the “Grandfather of Snowmobiling” and his wife Hannah are so much more than a vision. Their legacy of giving back to their community is real, even though they are no longer with us.

Edgar and Hannah established the Edgar and Hannah Hetteen Fund at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation in 2006. Early on, they were able to impact the community in significant ways, including grants to the Itasca Hospice Foundation to build Kylar Glen and Itasca County Habitat for Humanity for the start-up costs for the ReStore.

Edgar passed away in February 2011, followed by Hannah in April 2012. Upon Hannah’s death, the fund was endowed, meaning it would be managed by the Community Foundation to provide grants in perpetuity according to Edgar and Hannah’s original intent, supporting individuals in need.

“The Board of Directors and staff at the Community Foundation send a huge thank you to our donors who participate in the Annual Grant Cycle and directly assist us in our mission of making our community a better place to live for all,” said Chris Fulton, Executive Director of the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation.

During this past Annual Grant Cycle, The Edgar and Hannah Hetteen Fund provided a total of almost $60,000 through 13 grants. Including the grants listed above, support was also provided to the Deer River Area Food Shelf, Grand Rapids Farmers’ Market, Itasca Youth for Christ and Project Care Free Clinic. Because of Edgar and Hannah’s love of community and foresight to Leave a Legacy through the Community Foundation, the Greater Itasca Area permanently has the ability to help our neighbors in crisis.


1. Edgar and Hannah Hetteen

2. Salvation Army's A Bed to Sleep In Program: Heather Grosse, Salvation Army Emergency Services; Aurora and Heather, A Bed to Sleep In recipients; Julie Wilcox, Community Foundation Board Member and Chris Fulton, Executive Director, Grand Rapids Area Community


3. Grand Rapids Farmers' Market Mighty Matching Dollar Program: Amy and Ralph Fideldy; Brynden Lenius; Rick Herman and Jo Manbeck

4. Home Visitor Program: Cathy Dodge, Community Foundation Board; Cindy Brummer and Cindy Stapleton, Home Visitor Program and Julie Wilcox, Community Foundation Board

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350 NW 1st Ave, Suite E  | Grand Rapids, MN 55744  |  218-999-9100

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