West Central Initiative Awards $75,000+ in Donor Advised Fund Grants

West Central Initiative awarded grants totaling more than $75,000 to organizations in the Fergus Falls, Perham, and Dent areas through its Donor Advised Funds program.

Donor advised funds are managed by West Central Initiative on behalf of organizations, families, or individuals as a charitable giving vehicle.

“These Donor Advised Funds—the Deloris Barnack Kenner Fund, Floyd and Harriet Miller Endowment Fund, Inga M. Johnson Endowment, and Leora Scheid Fund—were established to create a lasting impact by supporting the namesake’s favorite causes and organizations in our region,” says Rebecca Lynn Petersen, West Central Initiative’s director of development.

“They determined how West Central Initiative would direct the funds by identifying certain giving criteria. West Central Initiative then, in turn, serves the philanthropists by seeking and granting to causes that fit that criteria. That’s one way Donor Advised Funds work. In other cases, philanthropists themselves choose where to award the grants. Both ways of giving have tax benefits and both certainly leave a lasting legacy.”

Funds and Benefactors

Deloris Barnack Kenner Fund: Kenner grew up and went to school in the Perham area. She continued her education and enjoyed a 50-year career as a nurse. Her funds benefit Perham-Dent area teachers or education-related projects in the communities. Grantees are:

Empowering Kids, Perham, $2,500

Boys and Girls Club of the Perham Area, $2,500

Wel Collective, Perham, $2,500

Friends of the Museum, Perham, $2,500

Floyd and Harriet Miller Endowment Fund: Reverend Floyd and Harriet Miller wished to leave a lasting impact in the Fergus Falls community for all the kindness that they received during their lifetimes. Funds benefit nonprofit organizations in the Fergus Falls area along with the St. James Episcopal Church. Grantees are:

Fergus Falls Food Shelf, $2,500

Fergus Falls Public Library, $2,500

Pedal Fergus Falls, $2,500

Someplace Safe of Fergus Falls, $2,500

Fergus Falls Area Family YMCA, $2,500

Human Society of Otter Tail County, $2,500

St. James Episcopal Church, $15,494

Inga M. Johnson Endowment Fund: Johnson was actively involved with her community and was philanthropic throughout her lifetime. It was Inga's wish that this fund be used to improve the quality of life in and around Fergus Falls with donations that invest in the community’s educational, scientific, literary, and religious needs. Grantees are:

Meals by Wheels of Fergus Falls, $500

Fergus Falls Salvation Army, $2,500

Friends of the Fergus Falls Public Library, $1,000

Kaddatz Galleries, LTD, Fergus Falls, $2,500

United Way of Otter Tail and Wadena Counties, $2,500

Fergus Falls Area Family YMCA, $2,500

Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, Fergus Falls, $2,500

Fergus Falls Parks, Recreation & Forestry, $2,500

Otter Cove Children’s Museum, Fergus Falls, $2,500

Young Life Otter Tail County, $2,500

Pedal Fergus Falls, $2,500

Otter Tail County Historical Society, $2,500

Oak Grove Cemetery Association, Fergus Falls, $2,500

Fergus Falls Area Habitat for Humanity, $2,500

Welcome House of Fergus Falls, $2,500

Leora Scheid Fund: Scheid cared about the communities that her and her family lived in and wished to continue to have a lasting impact on the area’s people and organizations. Funds benefit Perham, Dent, and/or Fergus Falls to support programs or capital needs. Grantees are:

Someplace Safe, Perham, $2,500

The Bridge Community Pantry, Perham, $950

Friends of the Museum, Perham, $950

For more information about the benefits of creating a Donor Advised Fund, contact Rebecca Petersen at 800-735-2239 or email