Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Moose Lake Cooperative gives various donations to local entities


Lois Johnson

The Moose Lake Cooperative donated checks from unclaimed equity to three schools and several organizations. From left are Jim Sanders, former manager of the cooperative, and Kathy Neigum, representing the Moose Lake Food Shelf, with a check for $3,779.93; Roger Gustafson and Trevor Wills, representing the Barnum Dollars for Scholars with a check for $14,000; Moose Lake Cooperative Board Chair Alan Overland presenting a check for $14,000 to Lisa Riihiluoma, representing Moose Lake Dollars for Scholars; Duane Coil of the Moose Lake Cooperative Board, presenting a check for $14,000 to Gregg Campbell, principal of the Willow River School Scholarship Fund; and Trina Lower of Mercy Hospital and former cooperative manager Leo Rentz presenting a check for $5,000 to Michelle Anderson and Jon Lund (Mercy Hospital Board liaison) of the Mercy Foundation. Not pictured were cooperative board members Bob Moffet and Dan Davidson. No representative of the Carlton County Fair was present to receive the $5,000 donation check from the cooperative.

Forty-two students from the Barnum, Moose Lake and Willow River schools will receive $1,000 scholarships after $14,000 checks were presented to representatives of each school on Friday, March 29, by the Moose Lake Cooperative Association. Donations were also presented to the Carlton County Fair, the Mercy Foundation and the Moose Lake Area Food Shelf.

"We wanted tried to spread this out across a wide range of groups that represent many, many people in the area," said cooperative board chair Alan Overland in a telephone interview. "The donations were a distribution of unclaimed equity in the cooperative as required by state law. The equity is earned when people patronize the cooperative. When the cooperative makes a profit, it is returned to the patrons in equity. Thirty percent is paid in cash the following year and the balance goes into equity."

Overland explained that, during the 97 years that the cooperative operated businesses in Moose Lake, some of the patrons had moved away or died and left no heirs to claim their equity. That unclaimed equity was donated to the organizations.

However, the process to pay known former patrons or their heirs is still underway.

"This contribution of unclaimed equity does not affect or lower the amount of equity for former cooperative patrons," Overland said. "I expect that information about the remaining equity will be sent out in the next few weeks concerning the distribution of equity to the equity holders."


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