The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation's Board of Directors announced this year's Award in Philanthropy recipients are Dutch and Irma Cragun.

"The Craguns have displayed a passion for helping others and bettering our community," BLACF officials stated in a news release. "They have been involved in numerous community fundraisers and assisted with the growth and development of the Brainerd lakes area and our tourism industry."

Cragun's Resort was founded in the 1940s and has been operating in the family for more than 75 years, employing thousands of people during that time.

The Craguns have supported many organizations over the years through many different avenues, including cash donations, gift certificates, and free or reduced pricing for charity events and fundraisers.

A favorite program of the Craguns' is "Free Golf For Veterans" that began when they built the Legacy Golf Courses. Every year on Memorial Day and that Tuesday, any military veteran gets complimentary golf at the Legacy and can bring a non-veteran guest for a greatly reduced rate. Over 15,000 green fees have been given away in the past 20 years. Many veterans have made new friends and they look forward to coming back every year.

The Craguns have also been supporters of local performing arts. The CLC Theater, Lakes Area Music Festival and Heartland Symphony have all received donations that have helped make performances available to everyone in the Brainerd lakes area.

"There are too many charities to mention that have benefited from Dutch and Irma's generosity. The Brainerd lakes area is a better place because of their philanthropic giving. We are honored to have them as our 2019 recipients of the Award in Philanthropy," said Karl Samp, executive director of BLACF.

The Award in Philanthropy will be presented to the Craguns July 11 at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa during the BLACF Annual Dinner.

To purchase tickets, become a sponsor and "give Dutch a fist bump," go to www.communitygiving.org/events and click on this event. For assistance, contact tfoster@communitygiving.org or call 320-257-9742.