Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation


Brainerd Lakes Area Women's Fund

Communities flourish when women and children are healthy and well-educated. It's that spirit that led a group of women to start the Brainerd Lakes Area Women's Fund in 2009.

The Brainerd Lakes Area Women's Fund aims to enhance the lives of women and girls in the Brainerd Lakes Area and to involve women as leaders and donors in the process. The Women's Fund is part of the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation and is led by a steering committee of community leaders.

Our Vision

The Brainerd Lakes Area Women’s Fund envisions a society where women and girls are healthy, well-educated and have the economic means to reach their full potential.


The Brainerd Lakes Area Women’s Fund was established in 2009 as a means to enhance the lives of women and girls in the Brainerd Lakes Area, as well as involve women as leaders and donors in the process.

  • The mission of the Brainerd Lakes Area Women's Fund is to:
  • Encourage philanthropy and help women and girls understand and utilize their giving potential.
  • Support program and initiatives that foster social change and provide women and girls with the necessary resources to change their lives.
  • Expand collaboration and create new community partnerships so that organizations see their services through the eyes of women and girls.
  • Advocate for social and economic improvement for women and girls through education.
  • Strengthen women’s voices in leadership roles.

Created as a committee of the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation, the Women’s Fund offers educational workshops, fundraising events, and programming geared toward assisting women and girls in building their personal and financial strengths.

Women making waves Award

Do you know a woman who is "making waves" in our community? Nominate her to be the recipient of the 2019 Women Making Waves award.

To nominate fill out the form by clicking here - Women Making Waves Nomination Form

Previous Award Recipients:

2012 - Cheryl Gelbman
2013 - Pam O’Rourke
2014 - Sue Hadland
2015 - Cindy Moore
2016 - Sherri Delahunt
2017 - Pat Alrichter and Marlee Larson
2018 - Joey Halvorson


Women Making Waves Event 2019

On Tuesday, April 16, the Brainerd Women’s Fund will be holding our annual Women Making Waves event at Arrowwood Lodge. Nominations are being sought for our Woman Making Waves Award Recipients that support women in the Brainerd Lakes Area. The nomination form can be found by click here - Women Making Waves Nomination Form.

Altrichter and Larson Named 2017 Women Making Waves Recipients

For their longtime dedication to education and service in the community, Marlee Larson and Pat Altrichter have been named by the Brainerd Lakes Area Women’s Fund as the 2017 Women Making Waves recipients.Marlee Larson served as principal of the ISD 181 Learning Center, which includes the Alternative Education Center, the Middle Level Alternative Program and the Early Childhood Family Education Center. According to the nomination letter, “Marlee has made significant contributions to the improved health, wellness and education of students in our area. If anyone has had the opportunity to see and hear Marlee advocate for her many disadvantaged students, you have most certainly seen her heart and soul exposed in the effort to advocate for a better life for all those she touches. She sees the good and endless possibilities in every young person she meets.”

Pat Altrichter has served the Brainerd School District as a teacher, gifted and talented coordinator, teacher mentorship coordinator, school principal and ISD 181 Director of Elementary Curriculum. Her community service volunteer activities have included Brainerd Public Schools Foundation Board, Kinship Board, Crow Wing Lake Association and St. Andrew’s Catholic Church. She is currently the chair of The Crossing Arts Alliance Board.

An endorsement reads, “Pat’s strong leadership, as well as her passion for an engaged involvement in the non-profit arena, make her an exceptional and deserving candidate for this honor. Besides being tireless when it comes to solving problems and maneuvering obstacles, Pat has an exceptional ability to always see both sides of the story. Her thoughtful analysis of potential adversity allows everyone involved an opportunity to pause and reflect on what are not always obvious concerns. Her collaborative skill set brings out the best in every committee and group.”


Empowering, sustaining, nurturing and connection. Our vision can't happen wihout your support. Contact us today to see how you can volunteer, contribute and make a difference in the lives of women and girls in the Lakes Area.

For more information about the Brainerd Lakes Area Women's Fund, email us at

If you are interested in volunteering for the Women's Fund or are in need of the services we provide, please complete the information below and someone will get back to you within 24-48 hours. If you need an immediate response please call 877-253-4380.

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