Crookston Eagles presents two local grants totaling $5,000

Mike Christopherson
Pirate girls' hockey coach Tim Moe, with several of his players standing on stage, accepts a $2,500 grant for the girls' program at the Crookston Eagles Thursday evening.

Although the 2020 Eagles State Convention that Crookston was to host this month didn’t happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a smaller-scale meeting, dinner and celebration was held Thursday at Crookston Eagles Aerie 873, at which two $2,500 grants were presented, one to help fund Highland School’s annual sixth-grade trip to Itasca State Park, and another to the Pirate girls’ hockey program.

Highland School Principal Chris Trostad accepted the grant, and said the money will be invested in supplies and equipment for the sixth-grade trips to Itasca, which have been a spring tradition for decades. Things that might be purchased include tents, and devices to help the students with water-testing lessons and geocaching activities.

“This will not be spent on any administrative or overhead costs,” Trostad said. “This will be spent on things that enhance the experience for the kids and help them learn.”

The grant to girls’ hockey was accepted by Pirate girls’ hockey coach Tim Moe, who said the $2,500 won’t be spent on equipment, but will instead be invested in things that grow the girls’ game and program in Crookston, and also on reaching out to younger girls to get them involved.

Moe also noted that Brent Epema has led the launch of an official girls’ hockey booster program in Crookston, and it has achieved 501c(3) certification. Many years ago, before girls’ hockey existed in Crookston, a group of hockey parents formed the Hot Stove League, a boys’ hockey booster program. It has also boosted the girls’ program since its inception, but, Moe said, now the girls’ program has its own booster group.

Several members of the Pirate girls’ team, wearing their jerseys, were on hand to witness the grant presentation as well and introduce themselves. They helped serve the meal at the event and were rewarded with $265 in tips that they divided up.

Camp Confidence funds

Also at Thursday’s event in Crookston, several checks totaling more than $8,000 were presented for the Confidence Learning Center, also called “Camp Confidence,” located in the Brainerd/East Gull Lake area. The Eagles in Minnesota have a longstanding relationship/partnership with the initiative, which focuses on benefiting and providing quality outdoor experiences to those with developmental disabilities.

The biggest check of the evening, for $18,000, was presented to the Autism Society of Minnesota.