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The St. Paul & Minnesota Foundations will announce Wednesday they have reached a major milestone, surpassing $1 billon in giving since the organization began more than 75 years ago.

The St. Paul-based foundations are nearing $1.5 billion in assets, making it the largest community foundation in the state. Last year, nearly 8,300 grants were distributed to support grantees in 71 of 87 Minnesota counties, and the foundations have worked to raise their profile and shine more light on their work.

"We are proud of this legacy and humbled by the generosity of our donors, the trust they place in us to amplify the impact of their giving and the dedication of the organizations that put those grants to work for the benefit of the residents of our region," CEO Eric Jolly said in a statement.

The two foundations, which share a CEO, staff and governing board, started in 1940 with a $5,000 gift from Annie Paper, a Russian immigrant and St. Paul resident.