Bernick Family Foundation Awards $150,000 to Organizations Across Service Area

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Bernick Family Foundation announced today that $150,000 in grants was awarded to organizations and projects within their two key focus areas of youth and education & health and fitness.  Eligible organizations were required to be a 501(c)3 organization, school or governmental entity and serve one of the seven regions that Bernick's services.

Jason Bernick, Bernick’s Director of Corporate Affairs stated "Bernick's is proud to uphold a long tradition of supporting the communities we serve.  I feel this year's grants will help ensure a bright future for citizens in our community."

The latest round of grants supported the following community projects:

  • $30,000 to the Life House in Duluth, MN to support the renovation and refurbishment of a new high-tech classroom, workshop and retail space to house the Life House's Futures Education and Employment Program for homeless and street youth.
  • $25,000 to the Discovery Center capital project in Osceola, WI which includes construction of a building that will house a public library, large business conference/video teleconferencing room, community room, meeting rooms and a kitchen. (bottom row, left side photo)
  • $25,000 to Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School in Bena, MN to support afterschool tutoring and academic guidance.
  • $20,000 to Princeton School District in Princeton, MN for career development programming to work with disengaged, at-risk youth.
  • $17,500 to the Alternative Learning Center in St. Cloud, MN to assist students with transitioning from high school to post-secondary careers through Vex Robotics, 3D printing, and automotive technology. (top row, right side photo)
  • $15,000 to the Holdingford School District in Holdingford, MN for their "Makerspace" which is a place within a school building where students can tinker, build and invent using a variety of materials to cultivate skills. (bottom row, right side photo)
  • $12,500 to the City of Clara City to support the rebuilding of two parks with playground equipment that will be available for all ages and all abilities.
  • $5,000 to Kinship Partners in Brainerd, MN to  expand the Brainerd School Lunch Buddy program which is a school-based mentoring program. (top row, left side photo)

Susan Lorenz, Director of Community Programs commented, "We are proud to work with the Bernick Family Foundation.  They continue to set a wonderful example as business owners and philanthropists in our communities."

The Bernick Family Foundation established their first fund with the Central Minnesota Community Foundation in 1989. The Bernick's company and the Bernick family uses their funds to 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 $89.6 million in assets and awarded over $93.1 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 700 funds totaling more than $129 million. Learn more at