Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the New MHS Athletics Build

On September 26th, 2013, Mahtomedi High School students & staff, contractors who were involved, the members of the Cossack Foundation, and many other supporters officially opened the new gym with a ribbon cutting ceremony! During the event, the new gym was presented to the school, speeches were made by many, and the generosity of the Cossack family was honored. It was a joyous, fun, and raucous occasion.

In a fitting conclusion to the evening, the girls’ varsity volleyball team won their match against Richfield following the ceremony.

Mahtomedi High School Gym Ribbon Cutting

Mahtomedi HS Athletics Rebuild

In its largest project to date, the Cossack Foundation has, not only funded, but worked with the Mahtomedi High School and its students to completely rebuild the Zephyr Athletic wing. The complete renovation started with tearing out everything, including the floor, bleachers, and scoreboards. Over the summer, new floors were installed, walls were painted, state-of-the-art audio/video systems were installed, and hallways and locker rooms were updated.

We documented much of the construction with pictures. Here they are, but more are coming!

Mahtomedi HS Gym Rebuild


Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota


The Cossack Foundation has been a true partner to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in so many different ways.

Cancer and Blood Disorders program – Private Patient Room
Because many oncology patients are immuno-suppressed due to their cancer treatments, private patient rooms are key in reducing the spread of germs and infections. The Cossack Foundation has helped Children’s provide excellence in care in an environment that is healing for both patients and families by sponsoring a private patient room in the Cancer and Blood Disorders program. These spacious, home-like interiors allow patients the opportunity to customize their room, bring in their personal belongings and make their hospital room feel more like home. The larger and more comfortable patient rooms allow families to stay 24/7 and better participate in the care of their child.

Thank God for Kids Gala – 2009 Sponsor
The 18th annual Thank God for Kids gala was held April 25, 2009, at the Historic Milwaukee Road Depot in Minneapolis. Frank Vascellaro and Belinda Jensen emceed the evening, which included silent and live auctions, gala dinner, raffle and entertainment by The Sevilles. With the Cossack Foundation as a Presenting Sponsor, over $800,000 was raised to support various programs of the Cancer Kids Fund at Children’s. The Cancer Kids Fund provides support, care and comfort to children and families coping with cancer or blood disorders, helping comfort sick kids, lesson fears and build new memories.

Wild About Children – 2009 Sponsor
The 6th annual Wild About Children event was held November 30, 2009 at Pazzaluna Urban Italian Restaurant in downtown St. Paul, raising $100,000 for Children’s programming. The entire Wild roster served as celebrity waiters and traded in their jerseys for aprons to wait on the 150+ guests in attendance. The event raised money through several fundraising vehicles, including a silent and live auction, and the Cossack Foundation generously sponsored a table at the event.

Hennepin Theater Trust’s Spotlight Musical

Hennepin Theatre Trust’s SpotLight Musical Theatre Program honors and supports Minnesota high school musical theatre students and programs. The SpotLight Program honors high school musicals and students by formally recognizing the extraordinary achievements and process of developing young artists in Minnesota high school musical theatre programs.

The Cossack Foundation strongly supports our youth in the fine arts by funding programs like Piastro Piano Events and the Hennepin Theater Trust’s SpotLight Musical Theater Program. In 2010, the Cossack foundation was proud to be the premier sponsor of this program with a donation of $25,000.


SpotLight supports participating programs and artists by providing high-quality learning and performing and creative experiences for students that develop and empower the next generation of innovative leaders. This year, SpotLight will reach 65 high schools and nearly 5400 students across Minnesota!

Hennepin Theater Trust’s Give to the Max Day


“We couldn’t imagine Minneapolis without the Trust and all their efforts.” –Steve, Barb, Tali and Luke Cossack



Hennepin Theatre Trust thanks everyone who donated to us on Thursday, November 15th for the state’s record breaking, fourth annual “Give to the Max Day.” We are honored that you chose to support the Trust’s work on this special day and want to specifically recognize an extremely generous combined gift of $45,000 from Priority Courier Experts, the Cossack Foundation and the Cossack family – Steve, Barb, Tali and Luke Cossack.Since becoming Donors in 2009, the Cossacks have honored the Trust with several significant gifts.

“The reason I support the Trust is probably much different than most,” says Steve Cossack. “I used to be a partner in a nightclub on Hennepin Avenue in 1982, today the Rock Bottom Brewery sits on its location. Back then Hennepin Avenue was a very seedy place to be – bad elements, bad bars, crime and harassment at every turn. I found people would look forward to their visit to the city until they actually got there, then they quickly looked forward to their departure.”

“Today, much through the work and vision of Tom Hoch and all the wonderful support staff he has at Hennepin Theatre Trust, the Avenue has changed.” The theatres have been recharged inside and out and stand tall and proud with their brilliant marquees illuminating the night. They are staffed by a wonderful group of people and volunteers who all share a passion and love of the arts, music and theatre. They are not just taking tickets at the door and looking past you to the next person walking in, each and every one of them truly cares that your experience will be a good one and THAT makes the difference.

When people experience this kind of service and attention and then sit down to watch their production or concert, they feel good about the decision to buy the ticket, make the trek downtown, enjoy their show and then go on to the city restaurants that line the Avenue as well as the streets surrounding the theatre. I couldn’t imagine Minneapolis without the Trust and all their efforts. That is why it is important that our family, company and foundation continue to support Tom and his wonderful staff.”

The Trust appreciates Steve, Barb, Tali and Luke Cossack and everyone who supported us on “Give to the Max Day.” To all of those who have become part of our dynamic community, we extend a heartfelt Thank You! You make a difference and we couldn’t succeed without you.

Piastro Piano Festival

At the piano with love, with Elena Piastro.

The Cossack Foundation was proud to host this event where people enjoyed performances by the first place festival winners along with featured pianist Denis Evstuhin of St. Petersburg, Russia.

The festival hosted a contest for students, 7 through 19 years old, in several categories, all judged by experienced pianists. Winners won cash prizes and had the opportunity to perform at the festival!

Creative Direction of the festival and evening concert is provided by Elena Piastro. Piastro is originally from St. Petersburg, Russia where many of her Russian students were winners of local, county and international young musician’s competitions. Most recently she arranged a cultural exchange program where her American students met with Russian students in St, Petersburg for an international piano concert. She currently teaches advanced piano in her home studio as well as The St. Paul Conservatory of Music.