Community Giving

Kenneth* and Virginia Merrill

Community Foundation(s): Brainerd Lakes Area
Award: 2020 BLACF Award in Philanthropy Recipient

The Merrills have displayed a passion for helping others and bettering our communities. They have assisted with the growth and development of Crosslake and the surrounding areas through supporting nonprofit organizations and the City of Crosslake operations.

Kenneth and Virginia Merrill believed in community and through their generosity and exceptional leadership, they have significantly impacted those around them and the community at large. In the city of Crosslake, they have supported many causes that have strengthened infrastructure, helped to maintain the well-being of local citizens and have provided their time and money to support the cultural enrichment of the community.

Rob Larson, former Camp Knutson Director said, “We are especially grateful for the support that Ken and Ginny provided to the camp. Our mission to serve children with identified needs was very meaningful to Ken and his love for family and for all children shown through in his kind and caring demeanor. Ken was a gentle soul who truly believed in our mission and service to these great kids. The Merrills supported us at a time when the camp was going through a rebuilding process. The camp has made great strides over the past decade and we are grateful to the Merrills for trusting in our ability to make Camp Knutson more accessible for more children.”

Todd Lyscio, Past Executive Director of Crosslake Community School, stated, “Because of people like the Merrills, there is a beautiful new school building that will serve the community of Crosslake for years to come. Without their generosity, the building would never have become a reality.” Chip Lohmiller, Crosslake Fire Department Chief shared the departments gratitude for their support in purchasing a new fire truck. There are dozens more stories of appreciation from other organizations including the Park and Library Foundation, the Crosslake Food Shelf, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Lutheran Social Services, and the Salvation Army to name a few.

Karl Samp, executive director of BLACF, said: "There are too many charities to mention that have benefited from the Merrill’s generosity. The Brainerd Lakes and Crosslake Areas are better places because of their philanthropic giving. We are honored to name them as our 2020 recipients of the Award in Philanthropy."