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Gmeinder selected as 2019 Women Making Waves Award recipient

Ruthie Gmeinder

The Brainerd Lakes Area Women's Fund, celebrating its 10th anniversary, selected Ruthie Gmeinder as this year's recipient of the Women Making Waves award.

Gmeinder will be recognized at the organization's annual dinner April 16 at Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes in Baxter. Also honored at the dinner will be recipients of the 2019 grants, totaling $20,000 this grant round. Dinner event tickets and table sponsorship opportunities are available online at

"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," BLAWF officials said in a news release.

Gmeinder has lived in Brainerd most of her life. She attended Brainerd High School and graduated from the University of Minnesota as a dietician. With her husband Mike she has owned and operated Gull Lake Resort for 32 years. Together they have two sons and three grandchildren.

Her passions are traveling, gardening, art, design and music; nature is a constant in her life. According to friend Linda Hanson, Ruth is always up for an adventure—she is involved with a kayaking group and enjoys traveling and outdoor adventures.

"Ruth is incredibly talented and has a vision for large scale, impossible projects that somehow she makes reality. She is an amazing seamstress and can produce Broadway/Hollywood quality costumes and props of which she generously shares with local nonprofits and organizations for fundraising events," the news release stated.

Gmeinder has served on numerous boards and as a member of a wide variety of community organizations, including but not limited to the Lakes Area Music Festival, Greater Lakes Area Performing Arts, Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation, Northland Arboretum's Haunted Trails, Boy Scouts, Brainerd Public Schools, Central Lakes College, Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge and Brainerd Rotary.

"Ruth has an amazing ability to convince people to volunteer. Her enthusiasm is infectious," said Vicki Foss, executive director at Northland Arboretum, in the news release. "Ruth is responsible for 50 percent of the volunteer base for the Haunted Trail through her contacts. Many of the volunteers that she has secured for the event are now members of the Arb because of their experience at the Haunted Trail.

"The Haunted Trail, through her leadership and vision, has become one of our biggest fundraising events and now includes a low-scare option, as well as the high scare route. This has increased the popularity of the event in the community with families and the revenue."

Scott Lykins, artistic and executive director of Lakes Area Music Festival, stated: "I first met Ruthie at an event where she had one of her intricate costumes on display. That year at the Lakes Area Music Festival, we were presenting our very first opera and I asked if she might have anything we could use. Not only did she have something, but she invited us over to her costume house and generously provided every costume and prop necessary to make our cast look as incredible as they sounded. Every year she has participated on our team, providing what would be incredibly costly for work and materials without charge. On top of that, she generously donates to our organization to ensure our continued success and she participates as a volunteer in numerous other ways. Ruth does all of this on top of her many other generous commitments throughout our community."

Join the 365 Giving Circle with a $365 or larger gift. Anyone wishing to support the Women's Fund's grants and programs may join in creating change and taking part in the granting process for the coming year.

The Brainerd Lakes Area Women's Fund was established in 2009 to enhance the lives of women and girls in the Brainerd lakes area. The foundation offers educational workshops, fundraising events, and programming that assists women and girls in building on their strengths to reach their full potential.