Willmar Area Community Foundation

Group of Children

Award in Philanthropy

The Award in Philanthropy 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 Marv Otto Award

The Foundation also established the Marv Otto Award after his death in 2009 and honored the first recipient in 2012. Marv Otto, a well-known Atwater resident and business leader, established endowments at the WACF to benefit the people and communities he loved. He was the kind person who would stop by the grocery store, give the clerk $100 for a certain person who he knew needed it, and ask to remain anonymous.

The Award is made to recognize an individual or couple who personifies Marv Otto's spirit and strengthens the community with an endowment or irrevocable estate gift.

Community Builder Award

The Community Builder Award recognizes the efforts of a company/business, an organization, or a professional advisor that has significantly contributed to the field of philanthropy in the region. We are now accepting nominations for The Community Builder Award from the Foundation's Board, Past Board members and the Development Committee.

The Innovative Impact Award

The Innovative Impact Award is given to recognize an individual, couple/family, organization, group or professional advisor that is innovatively engaging the broader community as volunteers, creatively encouraging charitable giving and using those resources to meet unmet needs for Kandiyohi County residents.

2018 Honorees

WACF Founding board

Award in Philanthropy

To learn more about the story of the WACF's Founding board, click here.

DOROTHY TIMM MEILIDorothy_Picture1.jpg


To read the story of Dorothy Timm Meili and her impact on our community, click here.

Marcus constructionmarcus-construction.png

Community Builder Award

To read and hear more about Marcus Construction, click here.

Chad and Angie Koosman: Celebrate the light of the world


Innovative Impact Award

To read more about Chad and Angie Koosman's story, click here.

Previous WACF Award Recipients

Award in Philanthropy

2017 Dave and Mary Baker
2016 John and Mary Lindstrom
2015 Bob and Patti Dols
2014 Dr. James and Colleen Michels
2013 Dr. Lachlan and the Honorable Kathryn Smith
2012 Dr. Roger and Kay Strand
2011 Alice and Joe Cox
2010 The Linder Family
2009 John and Connie Chapin
2008 Gary and Nancy Geiger
2007 Walt and Raeanna Gislason
2006 The Behm Family

Community Builder Award

2017 Conway, Deuth, and Schmiesing PLLP
2016 Heritage Bank
2015 Affiliated Community Medical Center
2014 Jennie-O Turkey Store
2013 The Otto Bremer Foundation and Bremer Bank - Willmar

Innovative impact award

2017 Willmar Area Women's Fund

Marv Otto Award

2016 Jerry Anderson
2015 Elaine Adams
2012 Viola Ness Ausherman