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New London, Minn., couple to receive philanthropy award

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Area Community Foundation announces Dr. Roger and Kay Strand of New London will receive the 2012 Award in Philanthropy for their volunteerism and support of the greater Kandiyohi County community.

The award will be presented at the Foundation's annual awards event in October.

This year the Strands celebrate the 30th year of hosting the Prairie Pot Hole Day on their Stoney Ridge Farm in New London.

Their desire to leave a legacy of preserving lakes and rivers will be realized with their land gift through the Minnesota Land Trust.

The Foundation, for the first time, will present the Marv Otto Award in his memory. The Marv Otto Award will honor the work of Violet Ausherman.

A $400,000 gift from Ausherman, a retired elementary teacher, helped launch the Willmar Area Community Foundation in 1998.

Ausherman also was a founding member of the Humane Society of Kandiyohi County, now known as the Humane Society of Kandiyohi and Meeker Counties. Ausherman died at age 96 in November 2011.

The Marv Otto Award was established after his death in 2009. Otto, a well-known Atwater resident and business leader, established endowments at the Foundation to benefit the people and communities he loved.

He was the kind person who would stop by the grocery store, give the clerk $100 for a certain person who he knew needed it, and ask to remain anonymous.

The Foundation's award dinner will be Oct. 4 at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Willmar. Sponsorships are available.

Individual reservations are $45 per person and can be made online at Willmar. Contact WACF Coordinator Nancy Johnson for more information at njohnson@community

-- Staff reports