Community Giving

Fred and Terri Bursch


Fred and Terri Bursch have been long supporters of many charities in the Alexandria area, but they recently found a new tool that makes it easier to give and helps maximize the tax benefits—leaving more for their favorite causes. The couple established a donor advised fund with the Alexandria Area Community Foundation.

“Now that this option is available through our local foundation, it was an easy decision,” Fred said.

The Bursch family’s local roots date back to 1913, when Fred’s grandparents moved to Alexandria with their seven children. Fred’s father M.W. “Pete” Bursch—the youngest—was just an infant.

Pete lost his father in a car-train accident just ten years later, and times were tough in the Bursch home after that. But community members looked out for the family—often helping young Pete and his mother find work. Pete left home at 18 with just a dime in his pocket. Fred remembers his father explaining, “‘My mom had even less, and if I stayed, she’d have to feed me, too.’”

A quarter century later in 1956, Pete moved back to Alexandria with his wife Audrey and purchased the business that eventually became Bursch Travel. Fred took over the company in 1977. Since then, he has grown the travel agency from two locations to 15 offices in four states. With that growth, Fred continued his parents’ tradition of giving back to the community that has done so much for his family and their business.

The Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum, Theatre L'Homme Dieu, Habitat for Humanity, First Lutheran Church, and Rotary International Foundation are just a few of Fred and Terri Bursch’s favorite causes.

“If we are going to enjoy the benefits of living in a small community, we need to give back,” Terri shares.