Goodbye, 2020. Hello, 2021!

Angel Fund is excited to announce the addition of 5 new members.

At the end of 2020, we said farewell to Treasurer Robin Cicmil, Secretary Sandy Courneya and At-Large Directors Lindsay Douville and Becky Markovich as their terms came to an end. We also said goodbye to Vice President Brenda Loeb, who resigned.

Remaining members include Nicole Freeman, Kelly Grinsteinner, Katie Gustafson, Meghan Hodge, Kari Kilen, Shannon Petroske and Angela Zavodnik.

Joining us in the new year are Katie Finch, Rossie Senich, Kelsey Unger, Stephanie Villella and Bobbi Jo VonAlman.

The 12-member board will be led by President Kelly Grinsteinner, Vice President Shannon Petroske, Treasurer Nicole Freeman and Secretary Kari Kilen.

This transition also brings 2020 gifting to a close. We received a total of 184 requests, with 171 of them being granted. A total of 138 gifts for to first-time recipients while 33 went to recipients who had made a second request. We also made 13 denials.

All told, Angel Fund gifted $68,400 in 2020. Current gifting parameters are up to $400 per request and up to 2 requests per person.

The cities with the highest number of Angel Fund recipients for the year include (in order): Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Chisholm, Virginia, Cook, Eveleth, Bovey and International Falls.

We had a significant drop in the number of requests received and approved in 2020. In 2019 we gifted 203 persons more than $75,000. We attribute this dip in requests to COVID, which caused medical facilities to alter their services and deterred people from seeing their doctors for routine check-ups.

We believe a significant percentage of the population did not get diagnosed in 2020, and therefore are anticipating a boom or onslaught of requests once persons get back into routine doctor visits and check-ups. It is difficult to predict when this will occur, but our goal is to poise the fund for that moment and ensure it is financially healthy enough to sustain current gifting levels and meet the demand.

The updated and expanded website at proved effective in 2020. Since launching in mid-July 2020, the site became our most popular and convenient vehicle to apply for assistance and to donate. We are also grateful for the medical staff and providers that reached out to us directly on behalf of their patients.

The first meeting of the new Board of Directors is set for Thursday, Jan. 14, via Zoom.

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