The Ron Griffith Young Leaders Fund

Ross&RonGI just found about about the “soft launch” of the new Ron Griffith Young Leaders Fund. I hope it’s not to early to blog it; the hyperlinks are active, so here goes.

The Fund, developed in partnership with the Northfield Area YMCA, was initiated by Just Food to honor Ron’s service on the Just Food Board of Directors and his leadership contributions to the Northfield area community as a whole. (continued)

The mission of the Ron Griffith Young Leaders Fund is to support and develop the capabilities, talents, and motivation of young adults in the Northfield community who are actively involved in providing leadership in areas contributing to long-term sustainability including local environmental initiatives, healthy food and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, and community building.

I first met Ron around 2005 while serving on the Northfield EDA. Ron came in to make a presentation to the EDA regarding the formation of the Co-op, and I was impressed by his knowledge, dedication, and the thoroughness of his presentation. I was privileged to have the opportunity to work with Ron a couple of years later while we were both serving on the Planning Commission. Ron’s insight and acumen were invaluable in the process of revising the Comprehensive Plan; his fingerprints truly are all over Northfield’s blueprints. Ron resigned from the Planning Commission a few months ago due to health concerns.

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to the Fund, please download this pledge card. In February and March, Just Food’s “Just Change” donations, found at each register, will go to benefit the fund. Please give early and often!

The fund hopes to award a minimum of four young leaders each year to cover costs associated with training, development, and unique educational and networking opportunities. Grants will be awarded by the Executive Director of the YMCA upon recommendation of the Fund’s Grant Committee. The Fund page on the YMCA website contains the grant guidelines and application form.


  1. Ross Currier said:

    Hey Tracy –

    I was meeting with Joe Hargis this afternoon and we talked about what incredible contributions Ron made while serving on the Planning Commission.

    It’s really impressive how much impact a single person can have on a community.

    • Ross
    February 2, 2009
  2. Jane McWilliams said:

    Thanks to Ron’s persuasive ways, my Just Food membership number is in the double digits!

    February 2, 2009
  3. As the former chair of the Planning Commission, I noticed Ron first when he spoke at a Planning Commission hearing and I e-mailed him and asked him if he’d like to serve – his attention to detail AND the big picture were a huge addition to PC while I was there and beyond, especially in the recent work to finish the Comprehensive Plan.

    I saw the new fund mentioned in the Just Food newsletter and was curious – thanks for publicizing this and thanks Ron, for all you do.

    February 3, 2009
  4. Bill Ostrem said:

    I will gladly donate to this fund.

    I wonder if the founders would consider dropping the “young” (under 35) qualification and consider supporting leaders of all ages. In some cases retired people have the most time to give, and they too would benefit from additional resources and encouragement; some of them may not have been community leaders before. Middle-aged folks like me could also use some help learning a thing or two.

    February 4, 2009
  5. Bill Ostrem said:

    I should add that I have the utmost respect for Ron and have been priviliged to know him as a fellow member of the United Methodist Church of Northfield. His leadership, and that of his wife, Beret, has inspired me to be more active in the community.

    February 4, 2009
  6. Faye Caskey said:

    Ron is a most authentic human being. The quality of his relationships with others is transformative.

    Ron and Beret have been members of the team which plans the adult education program at the Northfield United Methodist Church. The depth of understanding, historical perspective, and theological acumen of these two is exceptional.

    To know the Griffiths is truly a gift to my life. It is also my privilege to contribute to the Ron Griffith Young Leaders Fund.

    You are invited also to honor them with a gift.

    February 18, 2009
  7. […] later. Ron’s family is requesting that people donate to the Ron Griffith Young Leaders Fund (blogged here earlier) in lieu of […]

    March 13, 2009

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