Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) awarded $9,620 worth of paint from Ace Hardware to eight communities across the region through its Paint the Town Grant Program. This program is a partnership between SMIF and 12 local Ace Hardware stores and is designed to engage volunteers and build collaborative efforts that beautify communities through painting community murals, welcome signs, or historic structures.

Eight projects received a total of 260 gallons of paint. The grant is awarded to projects that will have a visual impact, provide a public benefit to the community, and involve volunteer participation.


The 2020 Paint the Town Grant award recipients are:




  • 39 gallons to Truman Historical Association to paint Americana Barn Quilts.
  • 15 gallons to Amboy Area Community Club to repaint the Amboy Train Depot.
  • 84 gallons to Cancer Sucks Charities of Kellogg for a mural that honors cancer victims and survivors.
  • 11 gallons to the City of Winnebago for a mural downtown as part of the Bring Back Downtown Winnebago program.
  • 26 gallons to the Goodhue County Fair to repaint the 4H Building on the Goodhue County Fairgrounds
  • 35 gallons to Preston Historical Society to preserve historical properties located on the Fairground/Trailhead Park campus.
  • 24 gallons to St. Charles Area Community Foundation for a community mural that represents St. Charles.
  • 26 gallons to Tri-City United Public Schools for a welcoming mural in the Early Childhood building in Montgomery.

“By ‘Painting the Town’ these communities are building a sense of pride, creating opportunities for volunteer engagement, and adding to the vibrancy of their town,” said Tim Penny, S MIF President and CEO. “We are thankful to once again have Ace Hardware as a partner in this program.”


For more information on SMIF’s grant programs, contact Jennifer Heien, Grants Coordinator, at 507-214-7040 or