The Mingo Fire Department received a large additional donation at their pancake breakfast on Saturday, April 6. While the department attracts hundreds from the surrounding areas for their free-will donation breakfast, the biggest check on Satuday, for $2,500, came from Monsanto.
The department also raised over $2,000 in donations from the over 250 attendees. They were also successful in selling sponsoring space on the memorial monument to be placed outside of the station.
The department plans to use the funds for new equipment and to maintain the items that they currently have.
Phyllis and Harley Steenhoek of Mingo were selected as winners in America’s Farmers Grow Communities, a Monsanto Fund sponsored program. The program awards $2,500 to local farmers who may then direct the donation to a nonprofit organization of their choice.
The Steenhoeks had chosen the First Baptist Church as their first-choice recipient of the award, so the church organization received $2,500 which it intends to use in developing its youth outreach and Cellar programs. The Cellar program offers fun and safe alternatives to local youths.
"It's a safe and fun environment where our local students can come after Friday night home football and basketball games. There is free pizza, pop, snacks and a variety of activities and contests," said Phyllis Steenhoek
Monsanto went further this year though, and doubled the award in counties that had been declared disaster areas due to the drought of 2012. This gave the Steenhoeks a second award of $2,500, which they directed to the Mingo Fire Department. The family has close ties to the department with Harley being a retired fire fighter and their son currently serving.
The Monsanto Fund intends to invest over $5 million in rural communities this year through the program.