Looking to the future, back in 2015, a group of area residents banded together and formed what is now known as the Northwest North Dakota Community Foundation (NWNDCF).

The idea behind this group is to work on improving the quality of life on the western edge of the state.

Board members, forming the new 501 c3 foundation, included former Williston mayor Ward Koeser, Roger Cymbaluk, Marian Hamilton, Kent Reierson, Nancy Swallom, Steve Joraanstad of Crosby and Mark Clemons of Watford City.

Koeser is presently serving as the board president.

In 2016 the group received a check for $50,000 from Statoil to help establish the Statoil North Dakota Charitable Fund.

Reportedly a “generous gift” from George Gaukler, listed as a benevolent Williston area developer, allowed for these local residents to come together to create the foundation.

You should also know, Statoil is an international energy company with operations in 37 countries, while headquartered in Stavanger, Norway with approximately 22,000 employees worldwide.

In turn the fund is managed by the NWNDCF and was then established to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in grades K-12.

Koeser, to the best of the group’s knowledge, indicated this is the first time an oil company has established this type of fund in North Dakota and “we are excited to be a part of this endeavor.”

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