SAP Community Foundation annual meeting set for Dec. 4

As part of its yearlong 15th anniversary celebration, the Saint Anthony Park Community Foundation will host a panel discussion and neighborhood forum on Thursday, Dec. 4, at its second annual State of the Park public meeting and nonprofit fair.

The event, titled Preparing for the Best: Demographics, Designs and Development, will be held at St. Anthony Park Elementary School, 2180 Knapp St. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. to give attendees the opportunity to check out the informational booths of local nonprofit organizations before the program portion begins at 7 p.m.

Jay Schrader, foundation chair, says the event was created to give the community a chance to reconnect once a year with its public institutions and nonprofit service providers.

“We wanted to give all these organizations an annual platform to tell their stories to the neighbors they depend on for support,” Schrader said. “We also want to get everyone together to hear how they feel about issues that matter to our community. How we prepare a sustainable plan for our future needs to be at the top of everyone’s list.”

The panel will consist of experts in all three areas mentioned in the event title and there will be updates from our schools, St. Anthony Park Area Seniors’ recent Wilder-led community assessment, and from the Energy Resilience Group’s Transition Town initiative, winners of the foundation’s 15th anniversary grant competition.

A representative of the District 12 Community Council will also be on hand to explain the comprehensive planning process required every 10 years by the City of St. Paul.

Jon Schumacher, foundation executive director, says community participation is critical to the success of that plan. “I was around for the last comprehensive planning session and a very small percentage of our population ended up determining our priorities for 10 years,” he said. “The world does belong to those who show up, but in order for a plan to have credibility, it has to be approved by more than a few dozen neighbors. This is a way to get people interested from the start.”

Finally, the foundation will introduce its new board members and officers. The annual meeting is free and open to public. St. Anthony Park Elementary School is located at 2180 Knapp Street. Visit sapfoundation.org or contact Jon Schumacher, jon@sapfoundation.org or 651-641-1455, for more information.

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