Fun For Good 1

Top 5 Reasons to attend EP Gives!

The Eden Prairie Community Foundation is now in its 36th year of positively impacting all EP citizens. Five hundred grants have been awarded to over 84 organizations. Four priority areas for granting are social services, recreation and the environment, arts and culture, and education. The largest source of grant funding is our annual event; EP Gives scheduled for Saturday, April 29th. Whether you have never missed, have never been, or attended recently, here are my top five reasons why you can’t miss my favorite night of the year. I call it “Fun. For Good.”

New Venue, Award Winning Chef 
We debuted EP Gives in 2013 at Green Acres Event Center thanks to the generosity of owner Steve Schussler and Sunhi Ryan, and feel honored to have been their first public event. Sadly we outgrew this unique venue. After a search for a larger venue in Eden Prairie, we discovered there were no options. We were delighted to find Oak Ridge Hotel and Conference Center in Chaska, an easy 12-minute drive from Kowalski’s.

Starting at 6:00 PM you can mingle and sample food from four countries created by Virgil Emmert CEC, ACE. Virgil was the 2014 American Culinary Federation Chef of the Year for the Minneapolis Chapter. At 7:30 the formal program will begin with the Awarding of Grants, Live Auction, and Fund-a-Need.

Hot New Band – Stay the Night!
Beginning at 8:30 you can savor scrumptious desserts and coffee. Afterward, dance the night away to The Dap Squad billed as the “Midwest’s #1 Variety Event Band”. Comprised of an elite group of musicians (you can sample the band on their website). This award winning, sought after Band has played at the Dakota, for corporate events and weddings. Make it a night! Oak Ridge is offering a special room rate of $99. To reserve, call (952) 368-1492 and use the Group Code: EP-Gives.

Ring in Spring – Connect With Your Neighbors
Come out, come out wherever you are! After a long Minnesota winter, you will be ready for an excuse to ring in spring. EP Gives guests report that they love seeing old friends and catching up with people they don’t see often enough. It is also the perfect place to re-charge your batteries. I promise you, the energy in the room is palpable when so many people come together for a common cause. Guests feel that Eden Prairie has been good to them and it feels good to give back in such a powerful and meaningful way.

Meet Some True Local Heroes
The highlight of the evening for me is always the awarding of grants. EP-based non-profits and service organizations apply for grants. EPCF Grant Committee Chair Katie Castro and a dedicated group of your neighbors decide who receives grants. One representative from each of the grantee organizations is called to the podium to receive their check. They have an opportunity to describe how the grant will be used, what it means to them and who will benefit.

Recharge Your Batteries
I am willing to bet you could use a night out to just be you and reconnect with who you were before life got so complicated. For many people I know, and for me EP Gives is one of those nights. It is a gift you can give yourself, and the good thing is many will benefit.

I have had the privilege of being affiliated with the Eden Prairie Community Foundation since 2007 and an unanticipated side benefit is that I have met some of the nicest people in my life. Won’t you join me for my favorite night of the year? Tickets are $100, and $65 is tax deductible. Purchase tickets online at or call me at (952) 294-0526
Mary Mackmiller
2012-2017 EP Gives Chair