Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation

Group of Children

Award in Philanthropy

This award recognizes the efforts of an individual, couple, or family who have significantly contributed to the field of philanthropy in the region—either through their personal philanthropy, their work as a volunteer, or through their work as a professional in advising their clients about philanthropy.

The Award in Philanthropy was created in an effort to honor those who work to build a better community and inspire the next generation of philanthropic leaders.


The Ruttger Family


The Ruttgers are passionate about family and community. For over 119 years they have operated a family resort, Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge, in the Deerwood area. They’ve offered a family-oriented livelihood to hundreds of employees from the area and world. They willingly donate to benefits for local residents, fundraisers, their lake association, and educational opportunities and offer their time and talent as volunteers in numerous worthy causes.

Click here to learn more about the Ruttger Family.


Past Honorees

  • 2017 - Stewart C. Mills Jr.
  • 2016 - Jim and Linnea Anderson
  • 2015 - Lee and Penny Anderson
  • 2013 - Paul and Lynn Hunt
  • 2012 - Kevin Thesing
  • 2011 - Kevin Close and Rod Converse
  • 2010 - The Cote Family
  • 2009 - JoAnn and Arnie Johnson
  • 2008 - Kathy and Bruce Buxton
  • 2007 - Linda and Bernie Roberts
  • 2006 - Fran and Clarence Holden
  • 2005 - John Sullivan