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History of the Foundation

As Westwood church grew in both membership and mission, a small group of members were interested in ensuring the future of the church mission. It became clear to this group of leaders that a foundation, tied to the mission of the church but as a separate entity, would help ensure a future with opportunities and the ability to reach beyond the walls of the church.


The Westwood Lutheran Memorial Foundation was founded in July of 1973 by visionary Westwood Lutheran Church leaders. It was chartered as a separate nonprofit organization under the laws of the state of Minnesota. The first Board of Directors included Dr. Donald Bell, Robert Boeder, Eugene Booth, Lois Coon, Alvin Haugen, Noreen Johnson, Ralph Martinson, Don Padilla and Robert Skare.

A gift to the foundation is a gift to the future.

How it Works

The first gifts received by the Foundation - as well as the many subsequent gifts - remain in place today and continue to grow. The earnings are given as grants, consistent with the dreams and aspirations of the original givers.


Since 1973, the Foundation has been entrusted with gifts from members and friends of the congregation. The gifts are often memorials for a family member, close friend, or a beloved member of our congregation.

  • Individuals leave a gift to the Foundation to achieve their personal aspirations for the church and community

  • Families set up special funds to provide for a favorite area of ministry, such as music or education

  • Gifts are given in honor of special occasions such as graduations, anniversaries or retirements

  • Gifts made for estate planning purposes benefit the giver as well as the foundation

  • Many Westwood members give regularly to the foundation as part of their annual giving


In each case, the purpose is the same: to support the mission and outreach of Westwood Lutheran Church.

Gifts to the Foundation live on.

Only the income is used for grants.

The Westwood Lutheran Memorial Foundation is a Minnesota non-profit organization chartered to receive and administer funds for the religious, educational and charitable activities of Westwood Lutheran Church. Two types of funds are managed by the foundation. The Endowment Fund, the largest, receives undesignated gifts whereas various Designated Funds are established for gifts to be used for specific purposes.

Donations to the foundation are often used as memorials or in honor of a person or event. We welcome your donation by check or online. Checks may be mailed or dropped off at Westwood Church, attention Foundation (9001 Cedar Lake Road, St. Louis Park, MN 55426), or online by clicking the link below.

We welcome your questions and feedback,

email the foundation at 

Foundation Leadership

The Westwood Lutheran Memorial Foundation is governed by a board of directors, consisting of Westwood members who typically serve a 4-year term. The board is charged with the fiduciary responsibility of preserving and growing gifts by making prudent investment decisions. The earnings are disseminated in the form of grants, consistent with the guidance and intentions of the original givers.

The 2021-2022 Board of Directors

Kim Aune

Steve Bergeland

Sally Christenson

Chris Finseth

Chris Heiberg

Perry Jacobson

Kerry Kruppstadt

Dwight Peterson

Jan Prazak

The following members are serving as officers during 2021-2022

Chris Finseth            President

Perry Jacobson        Vice President

Dwight Peterson      Treasurer

Steve Bergeland      Secretary

Friends of the Foundation are typically former board members who have completed their terms. The 2021-2022 Friends of the Foundation are:

Gail Dahl

Beth Johnson

Greg Loeschke

Denny Netland

Linnea Sodergren

John Racek

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