2012-2013 Wisconsin Dells Education Foundation
Tourism Community Gives Back to its Students
Kalahari owner among donors to four new endowed scholarship funds.
Todd Nelson, President of Kalahari Resorts, and Natasha Baron, recipient of the first $5,000 Kalahari Culinary Scholarship.
Wisconsin Dells Education Foundation Board of Directors
Kelly Bauer, President Senior Vice President, Bank of Wisconsin Dells
Randy Kuhnau, Vice President
Principal, Wisconsin Dells High School Tom Diehl
Co-owner, Tommy Bartlett, Inc. Marti Fults
Music Educator, School District of Wisconsin Dells
Joe Gussel President,
Holiday Wholesale, Inc. Bob Johnson
Retired Educator Diana Johnson
Retired Educator Todd Nelson
President, Kalahari Resorts Terry Slack,
Superintendent, School District of Wisconsin Dells
he new partnership between the Wisconsin Dells Education Foundation (WDEF) and the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin got off to a rousing start this year. Four Wisconsin Dells organizations stepped forward with a collective $400,000
in scholarship endowments for the already growing WDEF. The four $100,000 donors are the Bank of Wisconsin Dells, the Village of Lake Delton, the Wisconsin Dells Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Todd Nelson, president and owner of Kalahari Resorts and Kalahari Development.
“We started the Wisconsin Dells Education Foundation for the love of our community and our students,” said Nelson. “These latest endowments speak to the wonderful entrepreneurial spirit here as well.”
In 2013, the WDEF gave scholarships to 31 Wisconsin Dells High School graduates---25 percent of the graduating class--- for a total of $77,500 in awards. Nine of the awards were for $5,000.
“My vision,” said Nelson, “is that every student that walks across the stage to receive his or her diploma and wants to further his or her education can get a scholarship in some form.”
Nelson, whose resort and convention center holds the largest waterpark in the state of Wisconsin, grew up on a farm in the Dells and built his career in the city.
In addition to creating the new endowment, Nelson hosts Golf for the Future, an annual fundraiser for the WDEF held at Trappers Turn Golf Club owned by the Kalahari. In 2012, Golf for the Future raised $125,000.
“You can measure the fiber of a community by the education it is willing to give its youth.”
“I had a marvelous experience in school and school helped me do what I needed to become an entrepreneur,” said Nelson. “Although I didn’t go to college, I want to give all of our students an opportunity to do so.”
Tom Diehl WDEF Board Member President, General Manager and Co-Owner of Tommy Bartlett, Inc.
2012-2013 Annual Report
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