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Foundation honors Bursch and LeBrasseur

The Alexandria Area Community Foundation honored Fred Bursch and Kathryn LeBrasseur with the Ruth McDonald Award in Philanthropy on Monday, May 6, at its annual dinner at the Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center.

LeBrasseur accepted the award on behalf of the community, for which she expressed a deep gratitude for all it has given to her.

Born and raised in Alexandria, LeBrasseur said she still hears her mother saying, "God didn't put you here to do nothing," so she keeps busy helping wherever she can to better Alexandria. She was also a good friend to McDonald, for whom the award was named.

McDonald made a significant gift to the community foundation through her estate, and the award recognizes the volunteer efforts of individuals who have significantly contributed to the field of philanthropy in the area.

Bursch told the story of his family's trials and tribulations, and what the Alexandria community means to them, and accepted the award in honor of his parents.

He passed the Minnesota Bar exam and worked for Hennepin County before returning home to be a part of the family business. Since then, Bursch Travel has expanded to 18 offices across the region.

Bursch has served with several local organizations and is a founding board member of several foundations, including the Alexandria Area Community Foundation.

The foundation administers charitable funds for the benefit of the Alexandria area. Since 1992, it has grown to over $3.3 million in assets and awarded more than $2.9 million in grants to nonprofits.