Click on the individual links below to read more about some of the amazing people making a difference in our communities.
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The legacies of Doug and Elaine Arndt continues to live on in their charitable gifts to the Brainerd Lakes communities and organizations.
Dorothy Brown illustrates that teaching is more than educating others, it’s a profession of the heart.
Charlie and Salli Brown were humble and simple individuals. They were modest and kind-hearted people, who worked hard and cared deeply about their neighbors and the community around them. Charlie operated the Sauk Centre Veterinary Clinic in partnership with a colleague, while Salli worked as a stay-at-home mom to their five children before she began teaching first grade at Holy Family School.
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.
Melinda has a passion for supporting her community and philanthropic mission within Central Minnesota. She was the recipient of the 2021 CMCF Professional Award in Philanthropy.
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.
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.
Jim passed away in 2013 and under the direction of the Community Foundation for Carver County, Jim’s generous spirt and legacy will live on through a donor advised fund, the James J. Glatzell Fund. This endowed fund ensures that the above mentioned organizations and the community would receive gifts to continue their important work.
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.
Dennis and Barb Gregory have a passion for giving-back both financially as well as with their time. They were the recipients of the 2021 CMCF Alex Didier Award in Philanthropy.
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.
A woman who has dedicated her career to the performing and visual arts, anti-racism training, leadership development of women, international education and prioritizing the success for under-represented students is the recipient of the 2021 ATHENA Award, Debra Leigh.
A life-long learner and adventure lover, Ruth McDonald blazed trails at many points in her life.
Virginia and the late Kenneth Merrill were selected as the 2020 BLACF Award in Philanthropy Recipients. 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.
“We’re put on this earth to make it better than when we came.” – Harlan Palm
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.
Carol and Clifford Stiles focus on education and scholarships helped drive the formation of the Foley Area Community Foundation in 2004.
“I have always loved, ever since I started working at community foundations, what we do and the connection that we do to build community.” Caryl Turnow retired from her position as the Central Minnesota Community Foundation’s Executive Director in June 2021, after dedicating the majority of her career to community foundations.
“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.