Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent Program Wins Award

Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative (TWEC) names Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent Program as the winner of the 2018 Touchstone Energy Community Award.

Left to Right: Jon Knopik, Foster Grandparent Program Area Supervisor, Helen Bartle, Foster Grandparent Volunteer, Dan Carlisle, TWEC President/CEO.


Todd-Wadena’s President/CEO, Dan Carlisle presented the award to Foster Grandparent Program Supervisor, Jon Knopik and foster grandparent volunteer, Helen Bartle. The Foster Grandparent Program also received $500 to be used towards their program in Todd and Wadena counties.

“The Foster Grandparent Program demonstrates a strong commitment to community and to the youth that we at TWEC value highly,” said Dan Carlisle. “We are very pleased to recognize their contributions to our local communities and schools.”

The Foster Grandparent Program was started nationally in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. One of the original 21 pilot programs was in Minnesota, the Children’s Home in St. Cloud. Foster grandparents have been volunteering in the Todd and Wadena county’s schools since the 1980’s. There are currently 43 foster grandparents serving 18 volunteer sites in eight different cities in Todd and Wadena counties. Area foster grandparents volunteer in local classrooms helping area student in their classes, such as areas in reading and math.

Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent Program award application has been submitted for consideration in the statewide Minnesota Touchstone Energy Community Award. The statewide award recipient will be selected from local award winners from around Minnesota. The winning organization will receive $1,000 to go toward their community cause. The Minnesota Touchstone Energy Community Award will be presented to the award recipient in February, during the Minnesota Rural Electric Association’s annual meeting in St. Paul.