About Us


"What does living in this community mean to you? It means a lot to me. This is where I got my first job out of law school, where I met my wife, Ann, got married, and raised our four children. This is where Ann and I have been able to engage in challenging and interesting work, make life-long friendships, enjoy biking, skiing, hunting and golfing, and become enriched by the visual and performing arts.

This community we call home didn't just happen. People who came before us realized the importance of giving back, of reinvesting in our community to help it prosper, give its people opportunity, and preserve our area's beauty. Participating in the Legacy Society is one way we can give back and ensure that this community provides enjoyment and enrichment for generations to come."

Mark J. Bradley
Ruder Ware Law Firm

"When Marilyn Miller and Jerry Halvorsen retired in 2008, they decided to relocate from Washington, D.C., to Wausau, Marilyn's hometown. They chose to support the community by contributing to the Wausau·Marathon County Fund with a leadership gift that inducted them into our Society of Founders. "We feel that contributing to the fund is the best way for us to support the needs of the community as a whole," explained Marilyn. "We have confidence in the ability of the Foundation's staff and its board of directors to identify the greatest needs and support programs that enhance the quality of life in the area we have chosen to call home."

The couple also established a donor advised fund within the Community Foundation. "We have found that a donor advised fund works well for us because it provides the vehicle to make extra contributions when we are most financially able, and to invest them for future disbursement," Marilyn said. "Also, it enables us to support organizations of our choosing by making recommendations for grants to be awarded from the fund.""

Jerry Halvorsen and Marilyn Miller-Halvorsen

"A community need suddenly emerges – dollars are needed to help keep the train in Marathon Park or it will be sold – and a request comes to the attention of the Community Foundation. The proposal is reviewed and recommended by the Distributions Committee to the board of directors and is immediately funded from a Named Unrestricted Fund.

I firmly believe in Named Unrestricted Funds because they allow the widest variety of response within basic funding guidelines. More importantly, Named Funds allow loved ones to be remembered every time a grant is given in their name. Our 'Marvin & Ruth (Rudie) Schuette Fund' will long provide funds and lasting memories.

Consider it!"

Ruth Schuette
Philanthropist, Community Leader, and Entrepreneur

"I believe the viability of a community starts with a strong educational system, vibrant arts community, and healthy recreational opportunities. I support the Community Foundation because they are truly making a difference in those areas within the greater Wausau area, and I am confident that my donation is hard at work."

Arzelee Drown
Retired High School English Teacher

"Being personally involved in the Community Foundation as members of the Society of Founders is a pleasure and a privilege, as well as an expression of our gratitude for everything that living here means to us. Participating in the Foundation has made us aware of needs in the greater Wausau area, and we have faith in the board and staff's ability to identify them and take appropriate action."

Fred Lundin & Patti Kay
Certified Public Accountant Owner of The Wright Place on 6th

"Our first Community Foundation were for the revitalization of the ArtsBlock. As we learned more about the Foundation, we discovered the importance of also supporting the Wausau•Marathon County Fund. As downtown business owners, we know the value of a hard-earned dollar and appreciate the investment the Foundation makes back into the community in the form of grants for projects that make Wausau and the surrounding area a great place to live."

Joe & Mary Pepowski
Owners of The Mint Cafe

Robert K. (Robbie) Maahs
(March 31, 2002 - June 26, 2004) Caroline, Sophie, Lisa, Henry and Christopher Maahs

Turning Grief into Possibilities

"When we lost our son Robbie at age two, our community wrapped its arms around us. The Community Foundation was there when we needed help finding a way to honor him. We created the Robbie Maahs Memorial Fund to be used for children who want to participate in the many wonderful opportunities Wausau offers. We know that many families can't afford camps and classes, and this was our way to help.

Robbie was a very busy child who had an early love of sports. We wanted to gear most of our giving in that spirit. Each year we host a memorial golf outing to raise money for the fund.

Some of the recipients of the money raised in Robbie's memory are the Woodson YMCA, Wausau School District, Boys and Girls Club, and Ronald McDonald House of Marshfield. The Community Foundation has been instrumental in quickly disbursing our donation requests and getting money to the children in need. We are proud to be part of such a special organization."

Chris & Lisa Maahs

Bob & Laura Gall

Contributing to the Community Foundation "Just Feels Right"

"Just as you might make improvements to your home, the Community Foundation makes improvements to the community. Other causes we donate to focus more on direct needs. We like the idea of not only meeting the immediate needs of the community, but also making improvements along the way and planning for future needs.

Diversifying our contributions among several organizations within the Community Foundation just feels right, and they take care and pride in making decisions so that funds are distributed fairly.

That's the heart of Wausau."

Bob & Laura Gall

Sandra & Louis Pradt

Good Through and Through

Louis Pradt has been involved with the Community Foundation on nearly every level. He has applied for and received a grant for the Wausau Concert Band, served as a member of the Foundation's Beyond Pencils selection committee, and together with his wife, Sandy, has been a donor to several funds within the Foundation, including the Wausau∙Marathon County Fund.

"I have known the Community Foundation from the inside and the outside," Louis commented, "and it's been good on both sides! I also knew Wausau before the Community Foundation was established. It was a good place to live then, and with the Foundation's impact, it's an even better place now."

Paul & Lorraine Simon

Honoring a Life Well-Lived

One of the most wonderful things about living a good life is the impact you have on others, often without even realizing it. That is the story of Paul Simon, who died in April 2008. As a husband, father, farmer, and owner of Carl's Food Lane and Liquor store in Merrill, his faith and unquestionable integrity touched countless lives.

Following his death, Lorraine—his wife of 60 years—and daughter Sherry met with their attorney Craig Nienow to discuss a way to keep Paul's memory alive in the Merrill community. He suggested working with the Community Foundation to set up a scholarship fund that will award two scholarships in Paul's name. One scholarship is for a student going into business; the other for a student with financial need.

"His priorities were his faith and family," Sherry said. "He believed in giving back to the Lord, his family, and his community. Because of his generosity and zest as a businessman, we established the Timeless Memorial Scholarship to be part of his legacy." Through the scholarships, the quiet impact Paul had on so many will continue.

Todd Nicklaus, President
River Valley Bank

"The Best Place to Invest in Our Community"

When River Valley Bank considered establishing a philanthropic fund in 2008, they turned to the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin. Bank president Todd Nicklaus, is a former member of the Community Foundation's board of directors.

"Being involved with the Foundation, we appreciate how conscientious the board and committees are with the contributions entrusted to them," Todd stated. "We feel it is absolutely the best place to invest in our community through the River Valley Bank Fund and we are already relying on it for a significant portion of our charitable giving."