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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.
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Pat Adair was the recipient of the ATHENA award in 2008.
The Harold and Jeanette Anderson family has given generously to many causes in the St. Cloud area and beyond, establishing a number of funds at the Central Minnesota Community Foundation to help them accomplish their charitable goals.
Cheryl Lightle of Creative Memories, and Lee M. Morgan, President of the Antioch Company, were an example for other companies in the late 1990s to do charitable giving through the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
Maxine Barnett, long-time leader of a St. Cloud women's shelter, was the recipient of the 2013 ATHENA award and the Women's Fund renamed their education fund in her honor.
Jerry and Elaine Bauerly believe "there's a certain magic in giving" and are passing along their philanthropic beliefs to the children and grandchildren.
An ambassador for youth, a mentor to young women, and a woman who is described by her peers as being the heart and soul of the nonprofit to which she’s dedicated her life’s work, Geri Bechtold was selected as the 2022 ATHENA Award recipient.
A passion for education and kids first brought Dorothy Becker to the Central Minnesota Community Foundation. As a longtime school volunteer, mother of six children and former elementary educator, she knew a child’s success in the classroom depended upon the home environment.
Financial consultant Jan Bensen received the 2009 ATHENA Award from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
The legacy of giving and community involvement in the Bernick Family is truly inspirational. They continually foster a deep commitment to make our community a better place, both individually and through their business which champions the importance of youth and health programming across the region.
Bernick’s has a long tradition of investing in its local communities. The fourth-generation family-owned business donates five percent of its net profits and supports over 100 causes each year.
Dick and Mimi Bitzan were the 2016 Alex Didier Award in Philanthropy Recipients from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
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.
Long-time St. Cloud surgeon Frank Brown and his wife Alice, founder of Birthline, established a fund at CMCF on June 29, 2000.
Barb Carlson, long-time Central Minnesota Community Foundation donor relations director, received the 2013 President's Award for her strength in making connections and earning the trust of many.
The Cathedral High School Education Foundation fund was created in 1990 to assist in carrying out the mission of Cathedral High School by providing scholarships to students.
Some legacies are of brick and mortar, some fund scholarships, and some create and sustain beauty for all to enjoy. The Clemens Garden in southeast St. Cloud is one such example of sustained beauty that Bill and Virginia Clemens established in 1990.
Son Mark Coborn established fund in 2003 in honor of his parents, Bill and Joyce, to help Coborn's employees further their education.
Demonstrating excellence in the legal profession, Ann Cofell has long been dedicated to improving the lives of others. She leads by example and tirelessly acts as an advocate and mentor to many women in the community.
Alex Didier, president of the First American National Bank in the 1970s, was instrumental in the development and growth of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation. He died in May 2010 but his legacy lives on.
Nancy Ehlen has had a donor advised fund at the Central Minnesota Community Foundation since 2005. After her passing, her charitable remainder trust will allow her to extend her current giving to organizations that reflect her values and priorities.
Linda Eich DesJarins was the 2017 ATHENA Award recipient from the Women's Fund of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
The Bob and Nancy Ferche Family Fund was set up to share the wealth and blessings that they received through 30 years of ownership of Ferche Millwork.
Keith Finstad was the 2016 Professional Award in Philanthropy recipient from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
Connecting resources is a part of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation mission, and the Friends of the Gardens is a great example of how CMCF works to bring resources together in the St. Cloud area..
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.
Ben and Dorothy Gorecki were recognized in 2012 with the Alex Didier Award in Philanthropy from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation for truly setting a new standard for charitable giving in the community.
GREAT Theatre was the 2019 Community Builder Award recipient from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
Dr. Leslie R. Green was the 2016 President's Award recipient from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
Lori Greenway was the 2019 Professional Award in Philanthropy recipient from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
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.
Lynn Grewing was the 2016 ATHENA Award recipient from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
After selling their majority ownership in GeoComm in downtown St. Cloud, Tom and Janet Grones opened a donor advised fund in 2013 which has allowed them to leverage tax benefits and do more to support their favorite causes.
Dr. Halenbeck championed his education-focused philanthropy by forming two trusts in 1957 and 1981, respectively. Both funds were transferred to the Central Minnesota Community Foundation in 1989 and are used give aid to students with financial need and good academic records.
Americans will long remember the fall of 2005 and the damage caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Through the Hattiesburg Community Partnership established at CMCF, Central Minnesotans donated more than $236,000.
Leo Hinkemeyer discovered the Central Minnesota Community Foundation through his financial and legal advisors and in 1996 established the Leo T. Henkemeyer Fund to benefit a variety of charitable organizations throughout Central Minnesota.
Every once in a while, we unexpectedly meet that one person who changes the way we look at the world and helps shape our understanding of life. For many, that person was Andy Hilger.
Established by his family, the David Hodnefield Scholarship Fund was opened in 1997. The fund encourages individuals and groups to pursue agricultural education and to support youth ministry.
The Cody Foundation was established in honor of Cody Hulst, who died from cancer at age six. The foundation is dedicated to raising awareness of children’s cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and making life a little easier for the children and their families.
The Central Minnesota Community Foundation helped the family of Tom Keating, a beloved educator from Foley, set up the Tom Keating Foundation Fund to honor his memory and continue his work with youth at risk.
The Brian Klinefelter Scholarship Fund is given to students enrolled in a post-secondary education program to prepare for a career in law enforcement.
Kevin and Amy Kluesner, who opened a donor advised fund with the Central Minnesota Community Foundation in 2006, found the experience to be very organized and convenient and recommend it to others who want to practice philanthropy.
Accountant Bob Kovell has turned his love for running into a platform for raising money that supports causes he loves.
The family and friends of Kathleen Krebsbach created an education fund at the Central Minnesota Community Foundation in honored of this beloved teacher.
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.
In 2012, the Central Minnesota Community Foundation recognized Steve with the Professional Award in Philanthropy for his commitment to working with his clients on their philanthropy while continuously donating his own time and financial resources.
Dorrie and Scott established a fund at the Central Minnesota Community Foundation in 2014 while they were still "relatively young" to support hunger and basic needs, education and performing arts.
Dorraine "Dorrie" Larison is the 2020 ATHENA Award Recipient from the Women's Fund of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
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.
Each year 40-45 education majors receive scholarships through a fund that long-time educator Evelyn Lenander established in 1989.
Leo and Lou Louis are founding members of the Paynesville Area Community Foundation Board of Directors. They also own Louis Industries, a modernized steel processing and manufacturing facility in Paynesville
Tom Mathews was the 2017 recipient of the Professional Award in Philanthropy from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
A founding partner of Rinke Noonan Law Firm, Michael Noonan serves both his clients and his community with their best interests at heart. A dedicated attorney and active community member, he leads by example and his commitment to helping others shines through in all that he does.
Marion and Jim Miller appreciate the flexibility their donor advised fund gives them when making their charitable donations.
In April 2007, Louise Muggli first established a donor advised fund at the Central Minnesota Community Foundation to make her annual charitable giving easy. Later she became a part of the Foundation’s Legacy Society for her estate plans.
Brian and Karla Myres established their family fund in 2000 with a goal of improving the quality of community life and inspiring others to give.
Bob and Marilyn Obermiller received the 2011 Alex Didier Award in Philanthropy from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
Kay Pattison is one of many individuals, families and corporations who have established a donor-advised fund, which provides an opportunity for the donor to suggest grant distributions from their named funds.
Bernie Perryman was the 2019 ATHENA Award recipient from the Women's Fund of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
Molly Renslow was honored the Central Minnesota Community Foundation with the 2012 ATHENA Award for her leadership role in establishing the Women's Fund.
The State Bank of Richmond established a fund in 1987 to further charitable and community purposes including scholarships to Richmond high school seniors.
When Tom Ritsche was growing up in St. Cloud, there were few activities for children to participate in. So when Tom sold his business in the mid-1990s and had the opportunity to give back to youth, he made sure it would have a lasting impact -- he established a $2 million endowed fund in 1995 to help central Minnesota youth.
School Allies is a nonprofit organization, funded in part by the School Allies Fund at the Central Minnesota Community Foundation. The goal of the fund is to “enhance teaching and learning in private, elementary schools in Central Minnesota by providing shared access to digital knowledge, management tools.”
Tax accountant Chris Shorba received the 2013 Award in Philanthropy from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation for his tireless support of the community, especially the arts.
Jim Stigman turned to the Central Minnesota Community Foundation to open the Katie's Club donor advised fund in November 2005, in honor of his late wife. The fund's proceeds help young women and girls.
Carol and Clifford Stiles focus on education and scholarships helped drive the formation of the Foley Area Community Foundation in 2004.
Tarryl Clark’s career of community involvement and servitude has been inspiring to many in our community. Her passion for education, healthcare, veterans and the community are what motivate her to continually work for a better tomorrow for all. The ATHENA Award is presented by the Women’s Fund and Granite Equity Partners.
In 2013, when the Central Minnesota Community Foundation shared an opportunity to make a difference for an entire elementary school, Mark and Ann Thelen were happy to help.
Retired St. Cloud business owners Mark and Ann Thelen have found working with CMCF to be easy, efficient and rewarding.
Bob and JoAnn Thueringer established a donor advised fund on December 26, 2012 which helped them take full advantage of the tax law changes that made donating stock favorable from a financial perspective.
Lee and Mary Torborg established three funds in the 1980's and 1990's, primarily to support parochial education in the St. Cloud area.
George and Shirley Torrey have been successful in business, life and family. Their hard work has reaped rewards that they wanted to return to the community that supported them.
“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.
Sharon, like many other students in our area, was burdened by the cost of going to college and needed the support of generous donors to achieve their dreams.
Long-time educator Dr. Pat Welter received the 2014 ATHENA award from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
Tim Wensman and Janet Fischels-Wensman were the 2019 Alex Didier Award in Philanthropy recipients from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
The Brad and Kathy Wheelock Family Fund allows the couple to give generously to their community and enables their children to do the same.
Bob and Penny White believe in giving back to Central Minnesota through leadership, service and financial support of causes and community initiatives.
St. Cloud residents Dan and Judy Whitlock donated their home to Quiet Oaks Hospice House through the Minnesota Real Estate Foundation, a supporting organizations of CMCF.
The Julianne Williams Fund was established to honor the life of Julianne Marie Williams who died in 1996 at the age of 24. The fund's goal is to empower girls and young women through outdoor activities.
Gene and Sheelah Windfeldt were the 2017 recipients of the Alex Didier Award in Philanthropy from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
The CMCF Women's Fund gave Hands Across the World for its storytelling project which aims to foster awareness and acceptance of a culture often unfamiliar to central Minnesota-born citizens.