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Willmar Area Community Foundation celebration slated Thursday

Mary and Dave Baker

WILLMAR — The Willmar Area Community Foundation invites the community to its annual Award in Philanthropy Celebration at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Willmar Conference Center.

It will honor local recipients who have embodied the spirit of building community and engaging people through their generous acts of philanthropy.

According to an announcement from the foundation, Dave and Mary Baker will be presented with the 2017 Award in Philanthropy, which recognizes the couple's efforts to connect the community and create positive changes through charitable giving and volunteerism.

Accounting and consulting firm Conway, Deuth & Schmiesing will be recognized with the 2017 Community Builder Award to acknowledge their positive impact via charitable giving and thousands of staff volunteer hours donated each year throughout the local community.

New this year is the Innovative Impact Award which will be given to the Willmar Area Women's Fund, an initiative of the Willmar Area Community Foundation, in recognition of their impactful work surrounding the issues of human trafficking and homelessness in the area.

The evening will also include the premiere of two videos from grantee applicants and a live vote where attendees will choose one local nonprofit to be awarded the first ever Flamestarter Grant.

Tickets are $65 each. Register by noon Monday online at or call Sara Carlson at 320-235-4380.