Community Giving

Jerry and Elaine Bauerly

Fund Name: Jerry and Elaine Family Fund
Fund Established: February 11, 2003
Community Foundation(s): Central Minnesota
Award: 2013 Alex Didier Award in Philanthropy

For Jerry and Elaine Bauerly, it is not enough for them to be generous with what they have been given, they also want to instill that same value in their children and grandchildren.

It’s in that spirit that weeks before Christmas, Elaine provided each of her grandchildren $150 and directed them to give it away in any way they wished as long as it helped an individual or organization in need.

“There’s a certain magic in giving,” Elaine said.

On Christmas, each of their grandchildren shared how they had blessed others with the money they have been given. They shared the lessons they learned and their joy of giving left Elaine in tears.

“It doesn’t take long to see that they live out their values and their spirit of philanthropy in the way they raised their family and encourage their grandchildren. They are a model for the community,” said Maryanne Mahowald, chairwoman of CommunityGiving Board of Directors.

Jerry and Elaine have given a tremendous amount of their personal time, talent and treasure to Central Minnesota and have been instrumental in many local causes. The couple would do just about anything to help the community, even if that meant opening their rural Sauk Rapids home to 900 people for a fundraiser. Their dedication and hospitality propelled Women on Stage to a new level and helped the event raise more than $1 million for local programs that empower women and girls through the Women’s Fund.

But nothing means more to them than passing on a family tradition of giving back and helping others to their three grown children, Shelly, Rick and Dena, and to their grandchildren.

“When you put them all together, the impact of the Bauerlys just has tentacles that go out all over the place and it will last for a long time,” said Barb Carlson, retired CMCF director of donor relations and current CommunityGiving consultant.