Greater Pequot Lakes Community Foundation awards final grants before advisory board dissolves

The GPLCF endowment will remain, but the board will dissolve to not compete for donations with other local organizations.

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PEQUOT LAKES — The Greater Pequot Lakes Community Foundation, a partner fund of the Initiative Foundation of Little Falls, will make a splash with its two final grant awards supporting the Pequot Lakes splash pad and Christmas lights.

The action marks the final step before the current advisory team dissolves.

“Most of the original champions no longer reside in the community or no longer serve in leadership roles that were key to the advisory team,” Colton Maher, broker and owner of Woods to Water Real Estate and GPLCF advisory chair, said in a news release. “There are currently other organizations meeting needs in the greater Pequot Lakes community, such as Pequot Lakes Community Action and the Patriot Foundation. Rather than compete for donations and people willing to serve, it made sense to disburse the spendable resources and release the advisory team.”

The community splash pad project will receive $3,500, and the downtown Christmas lights initiative will receive $5,000.

Established in 2016 as part of an Initiative Foundation healthy communities program, the GPLCF was composed of local leaders, including Maher, treasurer Brain Brogmus and past chair Aundra Erickson.


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Also active in shaping the direction of the GPLCF were former Pequot Lakes mayors Nancy Adams and James Tayloe, former city administrator Nancy Malecha, former Chamber of Commerce directors Chris Monroe and Katie Wassermann, Police Chief Eric Klang, former law enforcement officer Chad Turcotte, former schools Superintendent Chris Lindholm, architect and community organizer Laura Leckband and guardian/conservator Sharon Thurlow.

The Initiative Foundation will continue to host the GPLCF endowment until the time is right for a new group of community members to unite around a project to invest in greater Pequot Lakes.

Idling community funds, while continuing to accrue investment earnings, is not without precedent. An example is the Isle Area Community Foundation, now named the Mille Lacs Area Community Foundation, which was established in 2006 with a single donation of $9,000. Shortly after its creation, the advisory team disbanded. Meanwhile, through investment returns, the fund grew to more than $20,000.

During fall 2020, the Initiative Foundation’s Community Philanthropy team reached out to gauge interest in convening a new team to advise the fund. Now a highly engaged team of seven guides the fund and recently raised nearly $12,000 to support a Keep it Clean campaign. The effort encourages Mille Lacs Lake ice anglers to remove their debris so that everyone can enjoy year-round recreation on the lake.

To learn more about GPLCF and other partner funds, contact Kate Bjorge, community philanthropy manager, at 320-631-2048 or

Related Topics: PEQUOT LAKES
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