The Central Lakes College Foundation dedicated a Tree of Giving donor recognition sculpture Thursday on the Brainerd campus.
The artwork honors the generosity of endowment donors.
The hand-carved oak branches and trunk of the wall-mounted tree contain silver, bronze and gold leaves that symbolize the levels of donations. The minimum level recognized is $10,000, the endowment threshold.
Earnings from endowed funds provide scholarships to CLC students. Last year the foundation provided nearly $238,000 in financial aid to about 400 of the school's 3,000 students.
The Tree of Giving leaves include donor names based on the following amounts: $10,000-$49,000, silver; $50,000-$74,900, bronze; $75,000-$149,999, gold; and $150,000 or more, stones.
Earnings from the Melba Griffin Endowment made the sculpture possible. Griffin, who lived in a home on Pelican Lake from 1945 until her death in 1996, was a generous donor who considered future students in her bequest to the non-profit foundation. Her name is among the seven listed on stones.
Currently there are four gold donor leaves with donor names, nine bronze and 61 silver. There are 226 leaves available for additional names.
An acrylic plaque version of the tree will be installed at the Staples campus to recognize all donors from that area.
Speakers at the dedication included Dick Breen, president of the 22-member volunteer board; Bob Findorff, donor and co-founder of the Paul C. Findorff Athletic Complex at CLC; Terry McCollough, longtime board member; and Diane Scearcy, foundation executive director.
Catherine McGlinch, executive director of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation, represented the office of MnSCU Chancellor James McCormick at the event.
The artwork was crafted by international sculptor Sanford Werfel of North Brunswick, N.J.
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