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Prairie Island Indian Community receives Super Bowl grant

Prairie Island Tribal Council leaders (from left, back row) Shelley Buck, Lu Taylor, Johnny Johnson, State Representative Barb Haley and Pheng Vang of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund posed with community members at a celebration gathering on Nov. 21. Samantha Bengs / RiverTown Multimedia

Prairie Island Indian Community received a visit from the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund on Nov. 21. As part of its 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, the Super Bowl Host Committee awarded $100,000 for the development of a playground in the upper part of the reservation.

Pheng Vang, community and partnership coordinator for the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund, said the group has given over $3 million this year to communities across the state who are committed to improving the health and wellness of their kids.

"We are here today to leave a lasting legacy for Minnesota's future, in particular Minnesota's children," Vang said.

Tribal Council President Shelley Buck said the new playground will serve the growing upper area of the island where many young families live.

"With the help of today's grant, the upper island will soon become home to a new, safe, colorful and exciting spot where our youth can play and just be kids," Buck said. "Families can gather as a community to enjoy outdoor activities for years to come."

Construction of the playground is slotted to begin in spring of 2018.

Additional area grants

In September, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee awarded over $125,000 in grants to the Red Wing School District and Goodhue County Health & Human Services, supporting initiatives to improve the health and wellness of young people in the community..

A $50,940 grant was used to create a coffeeshop for students to access breakfast at Red Wing High School and $25,000 worth of equipment was provided to the district.

Superintendent Karsten Anderson said the average daily participation in the coffee shop's first full month was 87 students, with some days approaching or exceeding 100 students.

Goodhue County Health & Human Services received $50,000 to renovate a playground and sports field in the Pepin Woods neighborhood off Pioneer Road. Plans are to renovate and replace old and damaged park equipment and make critical updates to an underutilized space that will become a soccer field.

"The grant from the MNSBHC Legacy Fund will help us provide over 160 kids who live in Pepin Woods with a nearby, safe place to play and be active," said Nina Arneson, director of Goodhue County Health & Human Services. "This new resource will help kids establish healthy lifestyles, but it will also help families in our community build and foster stronger relationships."

Super Bowl 52 will take place Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.