On October 10th, 2023, the Winona Community Foundation was proud to honor Pat and Jerry Papenfuss with the 2023 Founders Award, which honors individuals who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to improving life in the Winona area through the use of their time, talent, and treasure. Individuals selected to receive the award have the opportunity to grant $8,000 dollars from the Founders Endowment Fund to the charity of their choice.

Pat and Jerry Papenfuss have had an extraordinary impact on the Winona area. Both Pat and Jerry grew up on farms in Minnesota and know the value of hard work and giving back. Philanthropy is a core value instilled in them by both their families. Even in their beginnings when they didn’t have much materially, they were raised to give what they could of their time and talent. After locating to Winona and over the course of their 60 year marriage, the couple established a legacy of philanthropy in the community, touching the lives of so many who call Winona home. Read more about their history here.

Passionate about the work the Winona Community Foundation does, Pat and Jerry graciously chose to donate their award dollars back to the Foundation’s Community Impact Endowment in order to support its mission of promoting philanthropy in Winona. In Pat’s words, “We volunteer to others, but we’re at the other end of things, too. We’re in a community where we say thank you because we’re helped all the time. So it’s not just us do all the helping, people help us all the time.”

The Foundation is grateful to Pat and Jerry for their generosity, and to all who attended and made the event a success.

Nancy Brown, Foundation President/CEO, welcomes guests to the event. 

Beth Forkner Moe introduces the awardees, Pat and Jerry Papenfuss. 

Video presented at the ceremony honoring Pat and Jerry

Pat and Jerry Papenfuss receive the 2023 Founders Award. 

Kathleen Peterson, Board Chair, announces the Foundation’s first one-time Impact Grant of $100,000 to be given to a local non-profit. More information about the Impact Grant can be found here

Guests chatting before and after the program

The Winona Community Foundation offers a range of charitable options and funds for individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofits to accomplish their philanthropic goals. As your trusted partner, resource, and steward for community philanthropy, the Winona Community Foundation is committed to helping every individual give back in a way that is both meaningful to them and to the causes they care about.