Community Giving

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Click on the individual links below to read more about some of the amazing people making a difference in our communities.

Use the search toolbar for a complete listing of all of our CommunityGiving stories.

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Doug and Elaine Arndt

The legacies of Doug and Elaine Arndt continues to live on in their charitable gifts to the Brainerd Lakes communities and organizations.

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Dorothy Brown

Dorothy Brown illustrates that teaching is more than educating others, it’s a profession of the heart.

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Joe and Alice Cox

The Willmar Area Community Foundation remembers Alice for her generosity. She died Dec. 29, 2011 at the Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar, just a couple months after being formally recognized for her impact in the Willmar area. The Foundation honored Alice and her late husband, Joe, in October with the 2011 Award in Philanthropy.

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Dutch and Irma Cragun

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.

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Merle and Kathy Felling

Merle and Kathy Felling, residents of Sauk Centre and owners of Felling Trailers, have been driven by their faith to give back their community. They established the Felling Family Partnership Fund in December 2015, the first for the Sauk Centre Area Community Foundation.

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Roger and Ruth Gauquie

Driven by humble beginnings, Roger and Ruth Gauquie were always taught to work hard and help others. “As my mother always said: be good to people on the way up, because you might meet them on the way back down,” comments Roger, sharing that being humble and kind is the Gauquies’ core belief.

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Mildred "Millie" Gjertson

Mildred ”Millie” Gjertson was an environmentalist and traveler, who in her lifetime visited all 50 states, all while keeping journals and keepsakes from her many trips. However, it is what Millie has given and left behind that will be her biggest legacy.

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Ruth Gmeinder

Ruth Gmeinder is a busy entrepreneur and hostess, operating Gull Lake Resort. Yet, she still finds time to “make some waves”, positively influencing the Brainerd Lakes Area. Ruth is a generous, kind, and talented community member who invests time and resources into several organizations and groups.

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GREAT Theatre

GREAT Theatre was the 2019 Community Builder Award recipient from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.

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Lori Greenway

Lori Greenway was the 2019 Professional Award in Philanthropy recipient from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.

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Tom and Helen Krebsbach

For Tom and Helen Krebsbach, discovering the legacy preserving tools and options at the Central Minnesota Community Foundation “was like a dream come true,” according to their nephew, Paul Pfannenstein.

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Ruth McDonald

A life-long learner and adventure lover, Ruth McDonald blazed trails at many points in her life.

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Bernie Perryman

Bernie Perryman was the 2019 ATHENA Award recipient from the Women's Fund of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.

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Darlene A. Peterson

Darlene A. Peterson was known for her keen intellect, passion for learning and fierce determination. These traits steered the direction of her life and legacy.

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Tim Wensman and Janet Fischels-Wensman

Tim Wensman and Janet Fischels-Wensman were the 2019 Alex Didier Award in Philanthropy recipients from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.

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West Central Sanitation

“What would a good neighbor do?” Whether considering internal managerial decisions, strategically reviewing external partnerships, to daily personal experiences, the company of West Central Sanitation (WCS) asks this principle question. They believe in not only standing by a slogan, this question upholds the value of who and what West Central Sanitation is and strives to be for the communities they serve.

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