Rotary’s $10,000 donation closes technology grant gap for FL Area CSF

Significant contribution helps CSF move scholarship process online


The Forest Lake Area Community Scholarship Foundation (CSF) has been helping the community since 1973 and recently surpassed the $1,000,000 mark in total awards.

When CSF tried to take its scholarship-awarding process online, however, the group that has given so much over the years found itself on the opposite end of the spectrum – needing help.

CSF in late 2010 received a $25,000 matching grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation for the implementation of a Web site that will assist with scholarship applications, scoring, awarding and reporting. The scholarship group found itself well short of raising the required matching funds as the deadline to secure them neared.

Enter the Forest Lake Rotary Club. The service organization in late May agreed to donate $10,000 over two years to essentially close CSF’s funding gap and ensure the high-tech Web site’s implementation.

Forest Lake Rotary Club President Leann Ottomeyer presents a check to Community Scholarship Foundation President Lee Sinna. Rotary agreed to donate $5,000 this year and $5,000 in 2013 to help CSF fulfill a matching technology grant awarded by the Wells Fargo Foundation in 2010. (Photo submitted)

The significant contribution came after a vote by the Rotary Club’s full membership. The club chose not to draw funds from its existing CSF endowment created for scholarships but to make a separate cash donation.

“With the help of our schools, churches, civic and youth organizations, we can unite the greater Forest Lake area in a common effort and create an environment that enriches the lives of our children and ourselves and builds true self-esteem,” said Forest Lake Rotary Club president Leann Ottomeyer.

The generosity of the donation was not lost on CSF treasurer Joe Lefto.

“The Forest Lake Rotary stepped up in a big way,” he said. “They understand the value CSF provides to community youth and the efforts required to provide this function. We should all be extremely grateful for the active presence of the Rotary and the other groups that help make Forest Lake a great community. ”

The CSF’s new Web site can be viewed at

During the academic awards program at Forest Lake High School last month, CSF announced the awarding of $71,100 in scholarships to post-graduates and members of the Class of 2012.

A total of 89 members of the Class of 2012 were awarded $59,100 in scholarships and 12 post-graduates were awarded $12,000 in scholarships.

The Forest Lake Rotary Club meets at noon on Wednesdays at Vannelli’s by the Lake.