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Minnesota West given $55,000 gift

Dorothy Nasers (front, center) stands with grandsons Ted and Jay Kruger Tuesday afternoon on the Minnesota West Community and Technical College Worthington campus following the announcement of a $55,000 gift to the Minnesota West Foundation. (Ryan McGaughey/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- The Minnesota West Foundation is off to an excellent start with its fundraising for the Center for Health and Fitness.

The facility, located on Minnesota West Community and Technical College's Worthington campus, will benefit from a $55,000 gift from the Kruger/Nasers family. Dorothy Nasers, along with her daughter, Lorna Kruger, and twin grandsons, Jay and Ted Kruger, were with foundation president Jim Smalley Tuesday afternoon in Worthington to formally announce the donation.

"This is really the seminal gift of kicking off the campaign," said Smalley, adding that it's hoped $400,000 will eventually be raised.

Nasers earned a teaching certificate at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, and from there went to teach in a country school in Ashton, Iowa and junior high English in Milford, Iowa. She taught for 15 years before getting married, and would then later teach at St. Mary's School in Worthington for seven years.

Nasers may not have attended Minnesota West, but others in her family had close ties to the school.

"We'd talked about this (gift) for a while," Lorna Kruger explained. "My brother went here to college. ... Over the years, he talked about how he really got a lot out of Minnesota West, and he felt it was a very good local college that taught him a lot."

Lorna's brother died in 1992, but Jay and Ted -- like their uncle -- had an interest in agriculture and later attended Minnesota West following graduation from Sibley-Ocheyedan High School. Ted earned a degree from MW in 2011, Jay in 2012.

"Rolf Malhberg had a good background in agriculture," said Lorna of her sons' initial interest in the community college. Later, she noted, Mahlberg retired, but she knew the ag program would remain strong with the addition of Jeff Rogers to the faculty.

Jay would have both Mahlberg and Rogers as ag instructors during his Minnesota West tenure; Ted only had Rogers. Both went on from Minnesota West to study at Iowa State University -- Ted earned his diploma this month, while Jay is scheduled to do the same in December.

It was Ted, who wrestled while at Minnesota West, who contacted Bluejays wrestling coach Bob Purcell about his family's desire to make a gift to the college. Before long, the decision was made to designate the contribution toward the Center for Health and Wellness.

"We wanted to do something that would benefit those two (athletics and agriculture) programs," Lorna said. "Students that have that athletics interest, and are also interested in agriculture, will be able to still get these from this college."

The Center for Health and Fitness will be utilized for athletics as well as by the community college's law enforcement program. Numerous events will also take place at the facility, which is slated to be finished by Oct. 1, throughout each year.

"This gift is a tremendous way to be able to show folks that this family has taken this first big step for us," Smalley said.

For more information or to give a donation to the Center for Health and Fitness Project, call Smalley at 376-3475 or (507) 223-1329.

Daily Globe Managing Editor Ryan McGaughey may be reached at 376-7320.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

(507) 376-7320