Blandin Employees for Life

Blandin Employees for Life volunteers at the Kylar Glen Hospice House. Front Row (Left): Theresa Major, Diane Jensen, Jan Greiner, Shar Anderson (Itasca Hospice Foundation Executive Director). Back Row (Left): Randy Godfrey, Glenda Olson, Steve Arbour (Itasca Hospice Foundation Executive Director), Roxane Jenkins, Shannon Mann. Members not present: Amber Clayton, Brad Petersen, Danita Stumo, and Dave Hensel.

Blandin Employees for Life (BEFL) volunteers at the paper mill recently awarded funds to the Itasca Hospice Foundation and the Grand Itasca Cancer Infusion Center. Each received a $1,000 grant.

“While we are entirely funded through our fundraisers and employee contributions, our fund has grown over the years, and we thought in addition to gas cards, this would be another way we could help people on their difficult cancer journey,” said Glenda Olson, BEFL volunteer.

BEFL is committed to helping local people fight cancer. There are needs by many who are trying to cope with a cancer diagnosis and the expense that follows. The BEFL fund helps them with the added cost of transportation through gas cards. The all-volunteer group, funded by employee contributions, has awarded an average of $10,000 in gas cards in each of the last three years.

“Even though our number of employees has decreased, those remaining continue to give generously so that even in small ways, we can help local people dealing with cancer,” continued Olson. “And so many participate in our year ‘round fundraisers. Our biggest fundraiser is the annual golf tournament with Minnesota Power – this is a great partnership and fun event!”

Anyone who could use help with cancer expenses, can apply for a gas card at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation website gracf.org through the “Grants & Getting Help” tab. For more information, contact the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation at (218) 999-9100.

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