By Sandra Jenson firstname.lastname@example.org
SIBLEY—Hard work allowed Dan Lonneman of Sibley to give back to the community.
Through his Pioneer dealership, Lonneman can earn matching funds up to $3,000 based on his annual sales totals as part of the company’s Pacesetters program. This resulted in a donation totaling $5,512 to grateful Hope Haven staff and clients in Sibley during a presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 28.
“Pioneer, they give you incentives to keep your sales up, and if you meet their goals, they reward you,” Lonneman said. “One way is to update equipment. Another one is to give a donation to a nonprofit of my choice, and they’ll match my money.”
This is not a new achievement for Lonneman and his team, which also includes seed associate Caleb Pazour. In past years, he has given the matching funds to area fire departments and school programs. “Not everybody gets this. You have to have your sales up,” Lonneman said.
“This is from last year’s sales already. This week, our biggest sales period ends. Next year, it’s looking like I’m probably going to get rewarded again. I can pick whoever I want, but I want to spread it out. We both talked about it, and we thought, how about Hope Haven.”
Having Maddie (Lonneman) Pazour, his daughter and Caleb’s wife, working at Hope Haven may have subconsciously triggered the thought, but the idea did not originate from her inquiry. Her involvement came when Lonneman asked if that was something the facility could use. “Caleb and I both have connections with some of the people here,” Lonneman said. “We really enjoy working with them.”
They have hosted Hope Haven clients at the Pioneer facility to see the seed sales process, of special interest to one client who worked at Hood Packaging and helped with the production side of the seed bags.
Hope Haven plans to use the funds for its My Day program and, at least in part, to expand its gardening project initiated over the summer. My Day program lead Jessica Peterson said the garden certainly was a learning process but looks forward to the challenge of building on what they learned the first time through.
She also said Hope Have would welcome donations of canning supplies, especially jars and canning pots. “We had somebody come and get a stove hooked up for us, so we can learn to can food items, and then we want to buy a patio set for next summer so we can hang out outside and enjoy the weather,” Maddie Pazour said.
The Hope Haven program focused on salsa items for its garden this year but will experiment with products such as pasta sauce and pickled goods in 2024. The goal is to pay it forward to the community by selling the finished products in a farmers market format.
“Pioneer’s very generous when it comes to community stuff,” Lonneman said. “It’s good to give back to the community. It’s part of the blessing of having success.” He is open to suggestions for other nonprofits for future donations.
“It’s the smile on their face that’s priceless,” Lonneman said.
Pictured: Maddie Pazour accepts a donation check from Caleb Pazour and Dan Lonneman on behalf of Hope Haven of Sibley for its My Day program. Lonneman earned a chance to receive a matching donation from Pioneer for a nonprofit organization of his choice. Photo by Sandra Jenson.