1986 – 2011


  • Foundation was organized in 1986 under the auspices of the Black River Falls Rotary Club, which pledged $10,000.
  • It was the seventh Community Foundation in Wisconsin, smallest Community Foundation in the country.
  • Initial funding goal was to raise $125,000 over five years with interest to be used to fund grants for community projects.
  • Over $150,000 was pledged by 153 contributors.  At the end of the year, assets totaled $110,000.



  • Grant funds were awarded totaling $2,900.



  • First major community project undertaken was to assist the City of Black River Falls in raising funds to expand the golf course from nine holes to 18 holes.
  • 323 pledges of $300,000 were raised.  New course opened in 1990.
  • First scholarship program started with Lions/Rotary Clubs donating funds to sponsor a $1,000 annual scholarship.
  • Annual Strategic Planning Meetings started including concept of identifying one major community project for the Foundation to accomplish.
  • A Community Recreation Center was established as the next major project.



  • Interfaith Caregivers was started in Black River Falls with a $15,000 contribution received from the Foundation.
  • Milt and Lydia Lunda became interested in the Community Recreation Center and donated over $2 million for its construction.
  • The first scholarship, funded by the Rotary and Lions Clubs, was awarded for $1,000.



  • The Foundation completed a successful fundraising drive for the Lunda Community Center raising $600,000.
  • Several new scholarships were funded.



  • The Foundation voted to select the Public Library as its next community project.
  • Grant funds were awarded totaling $19,345.
  • New scholarships were funded.



  • Foundation trustees agreed to raise funds to construct a $1.3 million new Public Library.  The Foundation began the drive by pledging $25,000. Major contributors in the next two years included the Hoffman Family providing the major contribution in memory of Duane Hoffman and Mary Van Gorden donating funds to construct and equip a Jackson County History Room as part of the new library.
  • Grant funds were awarded totaling $20,122.



  • Fundraising continued for the new library.
  • The Pine View Advisory Fund was started with joint grants of $5,000 each from the Foundation and Jackson County.  Fund earnings will be used to purchase extra improvements to enhance the quality of life of Pine View residents.



  • A multi-purpose Recreation Trail for walking, hiking and biking was selected as the next major community project.  The plan was to eventually have the trail circle the entire City of Black River Falls and perhaps link with Lake Wazee at a later date.



  • The Grace Webb Fund was started, which provides funds to all Jackson County Elementary Schools for reading materials.
  • Mary Van Gorden donated $100,000 to the Foundation to establish an Endowment Fund to help meet operating expenses of the Jackson County History Room in the new Public Library.  Her gift was given as a memorial to honor her father and mother, J. Bruce and Kathleen (Buckley) Van Gorden.



  • The Friends of the Foundation was organized.  Each Friend donates $100 annually to help fund local grant requests.  This initial group had 80 to 100 members.
  • The Foundation assisted in the creation of a City Community Park Commission to investigate construction of a new Community Park.
  • Tom Mills donated $100,000 to the Foundation with earnings to be used to fund annual grant requests.



  • The first section of the multi-purpose Recreation Trail running along the Black River was completed with a grant of $60,000 from the Perry Hull Trust.
  • The Foundation acquired two parcels of land, one for the construction of the new Community Park and the other for future community projects purchased with funds donated by Milt and Lydia Lunda.• Jim and Carol Dougherty made a substantial donation, which will accumulate with interest until it reaches $100,000.  At that time, it will be used to fund grant requests.
  • Fundraising began for the Community Park and Aquatic Center.  The majority of funds were provided by the Lunda Charitable Trust and Milt and Lydia Lunda.  Significant other donations came from the Cliff and Blanche Nelson Trust, the Hoffman Family, the Foundation, and the City of Black River Falls.



  • Construction of the Community Park and Aquatic Center is mostly completed.
  • The Aquatic Center opened for use.• Grant funds were awarded totaling $33,350.  Over $14,000 of Scholarships were also awarded.  Presentations of these awards were made at the new Community Park Shelter Building, which was the first official use of the Shelter.
  • The Foundation received $46,000 from the Clara and Gaylord Emerson Estate to be deposited for the use of the Pine View Endowment Fund.
  • David and Marilyn Hoffman donated $100,000 to increase scholarship funds.
  • The Foundation, on behalf of the City, applied for a $600,000 State Grant to complete the multi-purpose Recreation Trail.  The grant was approved and construction will begin in 1999.
  • Stanley Held donated $50,000 to the Foundation with earnings to help fund special projects of four Jackson County charitable organizations – Interfaith Caregivers, Black River Memorial Hospital, Alma Center First Responders, and Alma Center Public Library.
  • The Foundation reached $1 million in assets!!!



  • Construction of the Community Park was completed and a Grand Opening held.
  • The Community Park was named Lunda Community Park; the Aquatic Center was named Hoffman Aquatic Center.
  • Construction of the second portion of the multi-purpose Recreation Trail was begun.
  • Another special project will take place.
  • The Foundation reviewed its organization and its methods of operation for possible improvements.



  • A new scholarship, the Anna and James Klir, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, began.
  • The multi-purpose Recreation Trail, now named the Foundation Trail, was dedicated September 16, 2000.



  • Two new scholarships, the Lieutenant Terry L Preston Memorial Scholarship and the Dean Nortman Memorial Scholarship, began.
  • A new fundraising campaign, Circle of Friends, began, concluding the end of the year.
  • The Peter and Jone Hoffman Fund was established.



  • The Gil and Alice Homstad Fund was established.
  • The Lunda Community Park Maintenance and Improvement Fund was established.
  • A donation was received from the Hoffman Construction Company in honor of Peter Hoffman to acknowledge the support provided to the community by the Foundation with earnings to be used to fund annual grants.
  • A donation was received by David and Marilyn Hoffman to increase the David and Marilyn Hoffman Scholarship Fund.
  • The Perry Hull Fund name was changed to the Foundation Trail Maintenance Fund.
  • Funds were donated by the Mills Family to the Mills Park Maintenance and Improvement Fund.  A large bronze hippo statue was placed in the park.



  • Mike Dougherty discussed planning stages for a Skatepark and the Foundation pledged financial support.
  • The City of Black River Falls – Field of Honor Maintenance and Improvement Fund was created.



  • A Foundation Trail Walk Fundraiser was held.
  • The decision was made to locate a Skatepark in the Lunda Community Park.



  • A one-year partnership program was done with the Foundation, the Western Wisconsin Technical College’s Written Communication Class, and the Banner Journal.   The goal was to enhance the public’s awareness of the Foundation.
  • A Foundation Website, www.brfareafoundation.org, was created.
  • The Dustin Rozmenoski Memorial Scholarship Fund was established.
  • The Rotary Club chose to sponsor the construction of the Skatepark in the Lunda Community Park to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Rotary International.  The Foundation pledged $25,000.
  • A donation of an additional $50,000 was added to the Gil and Alice Homstad Fund.



  • Grant funds were awarded totaling $57,263.  In addition, $159,000 of designated grant funds and scholarships were awarded.
  • There were now 18 scholarships available annually.
  • The Black River Falls Educational Enrichment Fund was established.
  • The Jackson County Humane Society Jane Erickson Memorial Fund was established.
  • Construction of the Foundation Trail Park was completed.



  • Bee Herzberg resigned after serving 20 years as the Foundation’s Assistant Secretary.
  • Beth Overlien was hired as Administrative Assistant.
  • A Legacy Fund was established to encourage individuals to leave a bequest to the Foundation in their will.
  • The purchase of property on Hwy A, across from Burnstad’s, was completed with a final donation from Milt and Lydia Lunda of $155,000.
  • The Foundation donated $88,000 ($25,000 plus $63,000 from the Pine View Endowment Fund after the sale of Pine View Care Center)  to the hospital’s Capital Campaign for the Expansion and Remodeling Project.
  • The Thomas Robert Gilles Memorial Scholarship, the Dustin A. Rozmenoski Memorial Scholarship, and the Betsy Danielson Janssen Nursing scholarship were established.
  • The Skyline Legacy Fund to improve the golf course and clubhouse was established with an initial goal of $50,000.
    A Recognition Program for Friends of the Foundation was established.
  • The Foundation Trail Park and Recognition Wall were completed.  More than 50 donors contributed $44,000 to the Trail Maintenance Fund.



  • The Foundation sold 14.75 acres of land across from Burnstad’s to the City Utility for future use and then purchased 14.5 acres across from the Lunda Community Park for Soccer Fields and Community Gardens.  From the sale, approximately $140,000 remained for future community use and the Foundation kept ten acres for possible school expansion.
  • The Alma Center Area Community Fund was established.
  • The Meghan Powell Memorial Scholarship was established.
  • Annual Foundation Trail walk raised $3,658 for the Trail Maintenance Fund.
  • A Power Point Presentation to inform the Community of Foundation activities and goals was created.
  • The Black River Falls Rotary Club Skatepark Maintenance and Improvement Fund was established.



  • One of the original donors to the fund that started the Foundation, Milt Lunda, died.
  • The former Black River Falls Campfire Organization donated $32,278 to establish the Black River Area Youth Fund.
  • Sixteen scholarships were awarded to Jackson County students.
  • The second payment of $20,000 was made to the City of Black River Falls toward completion of the Fair Park.  The Foundation’s pledge total is $120,000.
  • Basil Holder built a children’s playhouse for the Mills Park.  Construction materials came from the Mills Park Fund.



  • The Leland and Jeanette Larson Estates provided funds for a second scholarship, which will rotate between the three Jackson County School Districts.
  • Three new scholarships, the Kristen Wood Memorial Scholarship, the Gene and Judy Ransom Scholarship and the Black River Memorial Hospital Health Care Scholarship, were established.
  • Five new funds, the Incubator Economic Development Fund, the Timothy and Kay Finch Fund, the Hoffman Construction Fund, the Carroll Zillmer Memorial Fund, and the Mona Anderson Memorial Fund, were established.
  • Two donor families, Peter and Jone Hoffman and Gil and Alice Homstad, made significant donations to their Donor-Advised Funds.
  • Year-end assets increased by a record $627,000.



  • Beth Overlien resigned as Administrative Assistant.
  • Julie Murray was hired as Administrative Assistant.
  • Dr. Michael Mahan was elected to Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
  • This year marked the Foundation’s 25th Anniversary, 1986 to 2011.
  • Grants, Scholarships and Community Projects totaling $139,330 were awarded.
  • The Foundation Net Assets were $3,423,182.
  • Land for construction of a new Soccer Field was purchased by the Foundation for approximately $70,000 and donated to the City of Black River Falls.
  • The Foundation pledged $25,000 for construction of a Multi-Field Soccer Complex.