Skip to main content

Minnehaha Academy: Be wary of the guy outside the State Fair soliciting gifts for the school

A man is standing outside the grounds soliciting gifts for the school.

Minnesotans wanting to help Minneapolis’ Minnehaha Academy after the devastating explosion that killed two beloved staffers have often turned to fundraisers. The school itself has a secure donation page on its website, and there are a couple GoFundMe pages that have brought inthousands of dollars.

But the guy standing outside the Minnesota State Fair, saying he’s raising money for the school? That doesn’t sound like the best option.

Minnehaha Academy said Monday it was alerted to someone outside the fairgrounds soliciting gifts in the name of the school. He’s even got a laminated sign with the Minnehaha name and logo.

“Please know that this is NOT a legitimate fundraiser for the school; this person is in no way affiliated with Minnehaha Academy,” the school said on its site and Facebook.

Minnehaha Academy also said it was “overwhelmed” by how much support the community has shown – but offered the warning about people trying to “take advantage of this situation.”

The 350 students and 50 staffers who would normally be at the Upper School will instead spend this year in Mendota Heights. The city council last week voted to OK Minnehaha’s request to use the former Sanford-Brown College campus, possibly through 2019.

The regular Upper School campus is still unsafe for students and staff to be in.

Fundraising scams after tragedies

Sadly, fraud fundraising is something that happens a lot after a tragic event.

Forbes wrote about it following the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting, and noted money schemes after flooding in South Carolina, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Sandy Hook school massacre.

The Federal Trade Commission has a list of things to check for to make sure a charitable effort is legit. For example, be wary if they won’t give you details about their background or where the money will go. And if they want cash or a wire transfer, that’s also not a great sign.

Next Up

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.


Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.


Signs that MN Legislature could move to loosen liquor laws

A provision was approved by a legislature committee on Thursday but still awaits a final decision from the House and Senate.

US Bank Stadium

U.S. Bank Stadium looking to hire 400 part-time workers

A hiring fair will be held for the positions.

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 8.55.56 AM

Officials looking for man last seen leaving Hudson home

David Mckay, 67, was last seen in Hudson Thursday morning.


'Hyper-contagious' BA.4, BA.5 COVID variants confirmed in MN

Omicron continues to evolve into a more transmissible virus.

covid-19, coronavirus

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, May 20

The latest data shows there are 442 people with COVID hospitalized in Minnesota.


Minnehaha Academy students will head to Mendota Heights for school this year

The Upper School isn't safe enough to hold classes right now.

Two weeks after the explosion, Minnehaha Academy comes together

The Walk for Unity drew students, staff, and supporters

A year since devastating explosion, a new start for Minnehaha Academy

The school held a ceremonial pillar raising on Thursday morning.

Minnehaha Academy's first day of school will be later than planned

The Upper school's first day was supposed to be in late August.

Photos from outside Minnehaha Academy Wednesday evening

Community members gathered to watch, taking in what happened.

Lawsuit blames gas line workers for deadly Minnehaha Academy explosion

The suit claims the workers ran to save themselves instead of warning people about the leak.

Minnehaha soccer coach has leg amputated after school explosion

Bryan Duffey was in a critical condition, but is now recovering.