Our Hermantown History
The Hermantown Legacy Fund, newly-named in January of 2017, has been a long-established philanthropic organization for many years. It had been known as the Hermantown Community Fund since June 2005, operating under the umbrella of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation. Prior to the establishment of the Hermantown Community Fund, the historically known Jackson Club served to support much Hermantown’s significant growth and development. Following the sale of the Jackson Club building in 1988 and the later dissolution of the organization itself, partial proceeds were turned over to the newly formed Hermantown Community Foundation, thus providing a significant part of the initial investment in this long-standing philanthropic organization. A portion of these proceeds become funding for the Jackson Club Scholarships, overseen by the Hermantown Legacy Fund and given to several Hermantown High School seniors each year.
Historically, the connecting thread through all these organizations (the Jackson Club, Hermantown Community Fund and Hermantown Legacy Fund) has been a culture of caring and sharing with our neighbors by putting funds aside for the purpose of assisting in community growth and support as needs arise. This culture has helped sustain Hermantown’s strong sense of independence, even resulting in our transition from township to city in 1976.
The Hermantown Legacy Fund now functions as an independent entity striving to build permanently endowed funds to meet the charitable needs of the Hermantown area by providing grants that benefit growth and development of groups, organization and individuals for generations to come. Examples of organizations or groups accepting grants in 2017-2018 include the Hermantown School Playground Committee toward completion of the elementary school playground, the Epilepsy Foundation for education and training of school staff and students, the Summerfest Committee for payment of event insurance, the Lake Superior Youth Symposium for scholarships allowing attendance by Hermantown students, and the Hermantown Police Department for the purchase of vests as safety equipment.
One of the Hermantown Legacy Funds’ best known and most popular fund raising events is the Taste of Hermantown, a community dinner held each Fall at the Shriners Building, which includes many local vendors from restaurants in or near the Hermantown area, as well as a silent auction. This event, now in its 12th year has the feeling of a “neighborhood night out” for our community, and continues to grow each year! Funds raised at this event are granted back to Hermantown area projects.
Founders of the Hermantown Legacy Fund include Hermantown community leaders, men and women from the business sector, and interested community citizens. Current Board members include Tom Bergh, Lois Fichtner, Mary Johnson, Kerry Juntunen, Sandy Monson, John Mulder, Steve Overom, Sandi Peterson, Steven Raj, Cyndy Reno and Jonathan Thornton.
This Board has been found to be an exceptionally compatible, collaborative, respectful group of people, able to work together to make clear decisions and move forward in a unified fashion.