Madelia Fire Update
March  9 ,  2016
A letter from Region Nine Executive Director
Region Nine Executive Director, Nicole Griensewic Mickelson
A month has passed since a ferocious fire destroyed eight businesses in the heart of downtown Madelia. A drive down Main Street still shows the sight of the ashen debris as a daily reminder. The community of Madelia, with support from its neighbors, has decided to look past what was lost however, and instead focus on the future. Through relief funds, fundraisers and T-shirt sales, affected businesses have begun utilizing the available resources to open temporary locations and resume business. Support to move forward has not only come in the form of monetary donations, but also by means of access to local and state resources.

When we first learned of what had taken place in Madelia on that February 3rd morning, Region Nine Development Commission staff immediately contacted area legislators, including the offices of Representative Walz, Senators Franken and Klobuchar, and the Governor's office to alert them of the disaster. Since then, the response from the State of Minnesota has been remarkable. Senator Rosen and Representatives Cornish and Gunther have been in close constant contact with Region Nine and the City of Madelia to stay on top of the community's needs. The magnitude of this event is exemplified when taking into account the size of Madelia. The loss of the businesses has created a heavy economic burden to those affected. Having the Governor issue an Executive Order and having DEED's Rapid Response Team present needed information to the City of Madelia has provided them access to resources they may have otherwise not known about. It is my belief that action will continue to move forward to support the affected business and property owners on the local, state and federal levels.

Not only have nearby communities and the state come together to lend a helping hand, but Region Nine has invited the Federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) to visit Madelia. Lee Shirey, Economic Development Representative for the Federal EDA, along with Region Nine staff, will be touring the downtown area where the fire occurred and discuss what resources and programs may be available from the Federal EDA.

As I reflect on the past month and the role Region Nine Development Commission has played in assisting the community of Madelia, the significance of collaboration has become clear. The future of Madelia will be a vibrant one, thanks to those who have shown their immediate support. 

To learn how you can support Madelia, contact the Region Nine office at (507) 387-5643 or e-mail me at
Region Nine Area Inc. presents first 
L to R: RNDC's Finance Director LuAnn Vanderwerf and Madelia Chamber Executive Director Karla
check  from  Madelia Strong Inc.
Only one month after the February 3rd fire, LuAnn Vanderwerf, Finance Director for Region Nine Development Commission (RNDC), presents  Chamber Director Karla Angus with the first check from Madelia Strong, Inc. to aid an affected business. Region Nine Area Inc. is serving as the fiscal sponsor for Madelia Strong, Inc., which allows contributors to make an eligible tax deductible donation. This is the first check of many that will be distributed among the affected businesses and community. 

Grand Opening Scheduled for Kay's Upholstery and EZ Medical Wraps
Now that the last of the sewing machines are in place, sisters Nancy Vee, of EZ Medical Wraps, and Kay, of Kay's Upholstery, are anxiously awaiting their final supply shipments. "We are expecting to receive freight the rest of the week," said Nancy. The sisters each run a separate business, but Kay assists Nancy with any sewing she needs done for her compression wraps. Currently, the upholstery and sewing machines are located in a new rental space in Madelia. Nancy still works on marketing and short stretch wrap orders out of her home. "We are grateful that Region Nine was there to connect us to the resources we needed to get back on our feet," Nancy said. The Grand Opening will also include a ribbon cutting and the sisters are excited to show their new location to the community.
Where:  225 Benzel Ave. NW, Madelia  |   When:  April 1st: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
$5,000 Check Presentation to Madelia Strong from Citizens Bank Minnesota
Last week, the LaSalle branch manager, Mark Denn,
Above: Madelia Chamber Executive Director, Karla Angus with   LaSalle branch manager, Mark Denn

Left: LaSalle branch employees showing that they are 
Madelia Strong

presented the Madelia Chamber of Commerce with a $5,000 check from Citizens to go to the Ma delia Fire Disaster Relief. To show their continued support for Madelia, LaSalle employees will be wearing their MadeliaStrong  T-shirts every Wednesday in March!                                                                         
St. James cooks up support for Madelia
The community came out in droves to show their support for Madelia on Sunday, February 28th. The City of St. James hosted a Breakfast, Bake Sale and Silent Auction that literally went over like hotcakes. Madelia Strong shirts were on hand, bringing in over $1,150 in free will donations. The breakfast (that St. James firefighters were willing to deliver right to your door), brought in over $15,800 in donations. St. James City Manager, Joe McCabe stated the total raised was $17,000!  
Pioneer Bank has the "Heart of Madelia"
The "Heart of Madelia" Fund was established by Pioneer Bank to help the city get back on its feet. It consists of a benefit package valued at over $50,000 for affected businesses and employees. "Main Street is the heart of every small town," said Pioneer Bank CEO David Krause. "We are committed to keeping that heart beating as strong as ever." 

Pioneer Bank has locations throughout the region, including a location on Main Street in Madelia. 
Greater Mankato Growth Foundation continues to receive donations
Greater Mankato Growth (GMG)) Foundation presented Madelia Strong Inc. with more funds they have received in the wake of the Madelia fire. " The Madelia businesses and individuals impacted by this devastating fire continue to be in our thoughts and prayers for a timely rebuild and successful recovery," said Trudie Gustafson, Executive Vice President of GMG.   So far, GMG has collected $81,988 in cash donations!  $13,670 from individual contributions (with donations coming all over the United States) and  $68,318 from businesses.   Between businesses and individuals, the donations came from 33 different communities that wanted to show care and support to their Madelia neighbors.
There has also been $95,820 in "In-Kind" contributions made up of building materials, design services and media promotions.
Upcoming Fundraisers to help rebuild Madelia's Main Street:

Madelia Strong Fundraiser at Serales Bar & Grill

Painting To Help Rebuild 
Where: Madelia Legion
When: Friday, April 1st, at 6:00 p.m.
Cost: $40 ($10 will go to Madelia Strong Inc.)
RSVP: Madelia Chamber at 507-642-8822 or  email

Bowling fundraiser at Madelia Lanes
Where: Madelia Lanes
When:   Saturday, March 9th: 1:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m
Saturday, April 30th: 1:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Cost: $3.50 per game (Madelia Lanes will donate 50% to rebuilding Madelia)
Madelia Fire Responders: Fire Department Fundraisers 

Madelia Fire Dept.  Relief Association

21st Annual Pork Chop Dinner 
and Dance
Where: American Legion, Madelia
When: Saturday, March 26th 
              3:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

  Learn More

LaSalle Fire Department Fundraiser

Pancake Breakfast
Where: Village Inn, LaSalle
When: Sunday, March 3rd
            8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

           Learn More
Madelia Strong Inc.
Region Nine Area Inc. continues to see donations come in, and they will go a long way to helping  Madelia rebuild their community. The City of Madelia continues to stay strong and is determined to rebuild.  At this time, Region Nine estimates at least $130,000 has been collected.
Region Nine Area Inc is proud to serve as fiscal  sponsor for the commu nity fund. If you would like to show your support and to help Madelia rebuild please submit your contributions to:

Madelia Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 171,  Madelia, MN 56062.
Please make  checks payable to 
"Region Nine Area, Inc." with "Madelia" in the memo line.

All proceeds will benefit the businesses and the community affected by the fire and mitigate the disastrous losses incurred.  Donations made to RNAI are eligible to be tax-deductible.
Support Madelia - Get a Madelia Strong T-Shirt!
The demand continues to be HUGE for Madelia Strong Shirts! According to the Madelia Chamber, the donations associated with the tees are approximately $24,000. There are now Madelia Strong Hoodies available for sale as well through the Chamber.

To get your shirt or purchase a hoodie today, contact the  Madelia Area Chamber of Commerce at 507-642-8822. 
Recent Media Coverage
Fairmont Sentinel: Local fundraising event planned
Thank you to all that have supported Madelia

Region Nine Development Commission would like to acknowledge the individuals and organizations that have given their support during this time of recovery: Governor Dayton's Office, Senator Franken's Office, Senator Klobuchar's Office, Congressman Walz's Office, Senator Rosen, Representative Cornish, Representative Gunther, MN Dept. of Health, League of MN Cities, State Auditor's Office, USDA, DEED, Federal Economic Development Administration, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Blandin Foundation, Tony Downs, Pioneer Bank, New Ulm Medical Center, AgStar and the Mayo Foundation, MN Initiative Foundations: Initiative Foundation, Northwest MN Foundation, Southwest Initiative Foundation, West Central Initiative,  NuWay Cooperative,    Madelia Optometric Inc., Madelia-Truman Class of 1996, Madelia Class of 1965, Trinity Lutheran Church in Truman, Madelia Ministerial Assn., ISG, Wells Concrete, Eide Bailly, Greater Mankato Growth Inc. Foundation, River Valley Christian Church of New Ulm, Lewis Family Drug, Citizens Bank Minnesota, Madelia-Lake Crystal Mutual, Shopko Foundation, Sunshine Foods, Central Valley Service, Truck Bodies & Equipment Int'l, Alliance Bank, Farrish Johnson Law Office, Cedar Mountain Schools, Alden-Conger Public Schools, Cambria Presbyterian Women of New Ulm, First Presbyterian Church of Madelia, David Manning Trucking in St. James, and Mountain Lake School. 
Stay Tuned 

Region Nine  will be providing weekly updates on the rebuilding process, funding and support for the 
City of Madelia.