TLCF 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award Winner Linda Remington


  • The Foundation served as Facilitator of the Three Lakes Community forum to promote communications and collaboration among community groups addressing Three Lakes challenges and opportunities.  Three task groups (affordable housing, economic development and education) have subsequently been formed to continue discussions, carry out fact-finding and seek indicated paths forward.
  • Foundation Grants to a major town building project in progress for both the Three Lakes Demmer Memorial Library and the related construction work at the adjoining Three Lakes Historical Society.
    • Technology grant to the library for multi-media communications equipment enabling community use of conference calling and linked video capabilities.
    • Construction grant to the historical society for its linkage to the library including funding toward building the new welcome center.
  • Honoring community volunteers, the Three Lakes Community Foundation conducted its second annual Cheers for Volunteers Award with top recognition going to Linda Remington.
  • Rising Star Scholarship to a Three Lakes High School senior who has shown exceptional volunteer service to the community.  The third annual scholarship went to Alex Metzger.
  • Mini-grants for a variety of local needs:
    • Fishing for Kids event sponsored by the Three Lakes Fish and Game Association
    • Art in the Park classes for children sponsored by the Three Lakes Center for the Arts
    • Three Lakes High School Fab Lab family memberships sponsorship
    • Concerts in the Park sponsored by the Three Lakes Historical Society
    • 4th of July Parade sponsored by the Three Lakes Lions Club
    • Buoys for Summer Program sponsored by the Three Lakes Waterfront Association
  • Successful Challenge Match Grant Fundraising Campaign
  • Monthly Board Meetings, committee meetings, board retreat at Honey Rock Camp, attendance in seminars for community foundations and contacts with many organizations throughout the year.


The Three Lakes Community Foundation (TLCF) is incorporated in Wisconsin, and was given exempt status under the 501(c)3 Internal Revenue Code. We operate as our own charitable organization for Three Lakes.

We are also glad to report that we will maintain a continuing relationship with the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin (CFNCW), Wausau, which took Three Lakes Community Funds under its wings. The CFNCW Board and staff gave us a start… fostered our beginnings. We are most thankful.

We now receive donations directly, and do our own banking. This step will end some confusion as to why past donations for the Foundation were made out to CFNCW.

This leap was taken because enough people believed in the vision and stepped forward with donations. There are new costs involved to do this, however we are following a thoughtful plan. As we continue to grow, we are moving forward with confidence. With over 100 donors, we are on our way to supporting good things for Three Lakes. We are thankful for our 85 Founding Donors.

Our relationship with CFNCW will be one of consultations, and one of pooling investments. We gain by being in their pool. So there you have it.

Something to celebrate!


The Board has elected Pat Brainard as Chair. She succeeds the former chair, John Stauner, and the first chair, Gary Williams. Both remain on the Board.

Prior to their permanent move to Three Lakes in 1994, Pat and her husband, Dave, spent vacations and summers in Three Lakes with there three children. They live on property originally purchased in 1942 by Dave’s grandfather. It provided great adventures for a young boy from Chicago as well as a great childhood playground for their children and grandchild.

Pat’s father and grandparents lived in Eagle River for a number of years. Her grandparents established the First National Bank of Eagle River in 1922, and it remained in family hands until 2016. Pat is a former owner of the Bank and served as its Branch manager in Three Lakes. During that time she was involved in Three Lakes non-profits and spent many years volunteering on the Chamber Board. In short, Pat’s special interest in Three Lakes and the Northwoods started many years ago.


Jim, entering his third year on the board, was elected Vice Chair, a newly created board position.

Along with his wife, Vicki, an artist, he spends summers in Three Lakes and winters in Florida. They and their two daughters have been coming to Three Lakes since 1982. His childhood love of the Northwoods of Michigan got redirected when he saw our chain of lakes on a map and had to take a family vacation to investigate.

Jim worked in Chicago in the employee benefits consulting and administration field and as bookends to that career he has worked domestically and overseas in international economic development activities. He has served on several non-profit boards and has been a volunteer ever since his Peace Corps days.

If you see Pat, Jim or any other directors, don’t hesitate to ask for Foundation information and learn ways in which you can further help this Three Lakes community we all love.


Our priority focus is to bring new philanthropy to Three Lakes…new donors, new ways, and with a personal touch. If you are an active supporter of one or more Three Lakes community organizations (see listing tab), please continue to do so. All have worthy missions. TLCF will be there for your something extra.

Our focus includes bringing all Three Lakes stakeholders into this initiative, regardless of residency.

We will not be acting as a United Way agency. We will not be doling out annual funds to support community organizations’ operating budgets. Instead we will be looking to support qualified projects which will have impact, broad usage, and will enhance the prospects for a viable, sustainable future for our Three Lakes community.


We have a chicken and egg thing going. Which comes first, a tangible project which draws interest and donations or the donations which would allow for qualified project grants? For the near term we need to put emphasis on building our Current Fund and our Endowment Fund. However, we will also be looking for proposals to support a valuable project with a specifically named project fund. This may sound like chicken, egg, and cake. Yep!

What are we hearing from people? Below is a “Wish List” of ideas which people have expressed. What is your favorite one or two? What would you add to the list? What do you think will have impact? Be supportable? Have broad usage? Be sustainable? Will be lasting in value? Also, consider what a foundation should be doing rather than our Town government.


Our future plans include hosting “coffees” in private homes for those in the neighborhood. Our purpose is provide a brief orientation and answer questions. Any fundraising will be personal, and by a potential donor’s invitation. Look for these to start in the spring.


We are a startup, with all the work being voluntary. Your year-end response of support will be a huge help to keep us moving forward. And your support will be a great energy boost to those involved on the Board and teams. Please see the response item.


Broadband, both coverage and capability. Each year we increase our usage and needs. Three Lakes should measure its capabilities with what is available in the world’s largest cities. We are one world. This is critical for Three Lakes to compete economically, to be attractive especially to younger professionals, remote employees, and emerging businesses, as well as visitors and vacationers. This is one area where Three Lakes should aspire to be awesome.

Lodging, both for personal living and for hotel/motel space. Visitors have limited choices here, so some events do not even consider Three Lakes as a usable location.

Aging population

Projected school population decrease

Changing nature of tourism

Changing nature of how lake property owners use their property. For example, the improved road systems to get people up here also make it easier and quicker to get back. What is the impact of the back-and-forth syndrome? Is there something here to tap into?

Summer employment help shortage, especially for retailers.

Limited year-around local employment opportunities.

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