Claremont Chamber of Commerce Supports Local Causes


The Claremont Chamber of Commerce administers the proceeds from their charitable gaming to provide resources for many programs that are sometimes overlooked by others. The chamber has thirty-five members including some from Dodge Center, Blooming Prairie and Owatonna. Over the last twenty-five years they have grown. The first year the group raised $150,000 and last year they reached $1 million. Over $224,000 was paid out to over eighty separate entities in the last year. The state is still the largest beneficiary of the local charitable gaming, raking in more than a third of the revenue created.

The charitable gaming includes pull tabs, e-tabs, bingo and raffles and they are located at the Dodge Center Legion, Dodge Center Country Club, Claremont Pub and J & H Bar in Blooming Prairie. The funds raised are used to support local causes that benefit the towns and surrounding communities where it is needed most.

In 2012 the state legislature allowed expansion of features for e-tabs that made the gaming more fun and greatly increased the players use. This created growth in the charitable gaming organizations which serve the small rural communities. In the last year casino lobbyists pushed the state legislature to eliminate these features claiming they too closely imitate the slot machines used at the casinos. Local gaming organizations benefitted from the improved e-tab game features, but found that once the state collected out state funds to pay off the stadium bond, St. Paul suddenly wanted to change the rules again. Opponents argue that forcing charitable gaming to return to older technology is like requiring people with smart phones to go back to flip phones. This will make the gaming less popular and less profitable, directly impacting the funding for many local programs. This would amount to millions of dollars less available to the local community, while directly benefitting the casinos.

Here are the local organizations supported by donations from the Claremont Chamber of Commerce Charitable Gaming. American Cancer Society, Rachel’s Light Women’s Shelter, Hospitality House Men’s Shelter, Exchange Center for Family Unity, Out of the Dark Suicide Prevention, Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch, Triton School Arts & Academics, Community Pathways of Steele County, Dodge County Food Shelf , Transitional Housing of Steele County, City of Claremont, City of Dodge Center, City of West Concord, City of Blooming Prairie, Pantry of Faith, Steele County Mounted Posse, Cedar Valley Services, Homestead Hospice, Salvation Army, Steele County Humane Society, Fairview Nursing Home, Steele County Healthy Seniors, Let’s Smile, Beds for Kids, Homeless Teens, Junior Achievement, Grandparents for Education, Claremont Fire Department, Claremont First Responders, St Mary’s School, Ecumen Hospice, Triton Post Prom, St John’s Lutheran Church, Claremont Rice Lake Church, Veterans Adventure Group, Dodge County Community Foundation, Toys for Tots, Blooming Prairie Youth Dance team, Triton DC trip, Triton HS Music trip, Taylor Peterson Benefit, Triton FFA Alumni, Blooming Prairie Quarterback Club, Steele County Purple Ribbon, Presbyterian Church, Claremont Razorback Wrestling, Boy Scouts Pack 348, Brian Bohlman Benefit, Venom Wrestling, Feed Our Starving Children, Dodge County Free Fair, Don Daniels Benefit, Tim Ihrke Benefit, Boy Scouts Pack 250, TEAM Parent Group, Angelica Goff Benefit, Just for Kicks, BP Backpack Program, BP Cancer Research, Allied Charities of MN, BPHS Spanish Club, Dodge Center American Legion, Boy Scouts Troop 231, BP Youth Group, Derrick Nelson Benefit , Santa Anonymous, Blossoming Community Foundation, Steele County United Way, Special Olympics of MN, Steele County Food Shelf, Steve Yankowiak Benefit, BP Trap Team, American Legion Baseball Program, American Legion Softball Program, Triton HS Band, Riverside Cemetery, Dodge Center Cub Scouts, Dodge County Veterans Services, Oxbow Park, Faith Lutheran Church, Dodge Center Ambulance, Dodge Center Fire Department, West Concord Fire Department & Claremont Ballfield at Harmer Park