Bernick Family Foundation Awards $150,000 in Grants

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Bernick Family Foundation announced today that it awarded $150,000 in grants focused on enriching the lives of youth and improving health through its fund at the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.  

Jason Bernick, director of corporate affairs says, "At Bernick’s, we see needs in the community and want to do our part to make a difference. The funding in this year’s grant round will help build a stronger future for our communities.”  Bernick’s serves St. Cloud, Duluth, Alexandria, Willmar, Brainerd, Bemidji and surrounding communities as well as Dresser, Wisconsin. 

This round of grants supported the following community projects:

  • $25,000 to the school district of New Richmond, WI for the development of a school farm to learn agri-business and raise meat and vegetables for school use.
  • $21,500 to support design and construction of a 200,000 square foot, fully accessible destination playground located on Robbins Island Park in Willmar.
  • $20,000 to assist with the 3.2 mile trail extension of the Lake Wobegon Trail from St. Joseph to Waite Park.
  • $16,500 to GREAT Theatre in St. Cloud to support the addition of a Learning Lab Theatre.
  • $15,000 to the building of an 800-foot wheelchair-accessible boardwalk at Camp Courage near Maple Lake.
  • $13,500 to the Yellow Boats Project at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in Spicer which will connect kids with water safety.
  • $13,000 to support the Minnesota Math Corps in Duluth.
  • $10,000 to Talahi Community School in St. Cloud, MN to assist with the creation of an accessible playground.
  • $5,500 for disc golf equipment and curriculum at Lakeside Academy in Buffalo through Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge
  • $5,000 to the Brainerd Baxter Youth Center for their bicycle recycle program.
  • $5,000 to support the deep winter greenhouse at Bemidji Community Food Shelf.

The Bernick Family Foundation was established as a component of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation in 1989 to help Bernick’s and the Bernick Family support organizations that reflect the family’s core values, while providing leadership in responding to emerging community needs.

Founded in 1916, Bernick’s is a fourth-generation family-owned business, providing beverage, vending and food service solutions. The Waite Park-based company has a long tradition of investing in its local communities to improve quality of life. In addition to their support through the Foundation, Bernick’s continues as a longtime philanthropic leader through direct financial and in-kind donations to over 100 causes each year.
The Central Minnesota Community Foundation (CMCF), in affiliation with CommunityGiving, is a public charity that attracts and administers charitable funds for the benefit of the local community. Since 1985, CMCF has grown to over $86.1 million in assets and awarded over $87.1 million in grants to local non-profits.  CommunityGiving is a collaboration of community foundations united under a single framework to create efficiencies that maximize the impact of our donors.  The core foundations working with CommunityGiving include the Alexandria Area Community Foundation, the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation, the Central Minnesota Community Foundation and the Willmar Area Community Foundation.  Collectively, CommunityGiving administers more than 650 funds totaling more than $123 million. Learn more at