Community Foundation(s): Brainerd Lakes Area
Award: 2019 BLACF Award in Philanthropy
Dutch and Irma Cragun have a history. Craguns Resort was founded in the 1940’s and has been operating in the family for more than 75 years, employing thousands of people during that time. They have assisted with the growth and development of the Brainerd Lakes Area tourism industry.
However, it is the Cragun’s passion for the arts and their commitment to veterans that makes them truly deserving of receiving the Award in Philanthropy.
Well over 40 years ago, Dutch and Irma decided the community needed an art show, so they began by inviting friends over around the pool for a display of art, including from local artists. After several years of this, they decided to give the event to the community, and it was taken on by Brainerd Community Action and became Arts in the Park, which recently celebrated their 45th year.
The Craguns have also been huge supporters of local performing arts. The CLC Theater, Lakes Area Music Festival, and Heartland Symphony have all received generous donations that have helped make performances available to everyone in the Brainerd Lakes Area.
A favorite cause of the Craguns is veterans’ issues. Being a veteran himself, and meeting many soldiers who were willing to lay their life on the line for him and all of us had a lasting impact on Dutch. Every year on Memorial Day and that Tuesday, any military veteran gets complimentary golf at The Legacy and can bring a non-veteran guest for a greatly reduced rate. Over 15,000 green fees have been given away in the past 20 years. Many veterans have made new friends and they look forward to coming back every year. Dutch and Irma have also supported numerous projects at the Camp Ripley Federal Cemetery, including the murals of all the branches of U.S. service men and women.
Dutch & Irma have supported many other organizations
over the years through many different avenues.
They have generously given cash donations, gift certificates, and free
or reduced pricing for charity events and fund raisers. In summary, the Craguns
have displayed a passion for helping others and bettering our community.