Crawford County leaders honored

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Recipients of the 10th annual Leadership Awards from the Crawford County Community Fund included (front row, from left) Gerry and Mary Krachey, of L&M’s BP in Wauzeka, Business Development Award; Julie DeHart, President of Prairie United Soccer Association, Outstanding Youth Leadership Award; Amanda Knutson, Larry McCarn, Tara Heisz, Friends of the Gays Mills Swimming Pool, Leadership and Service Award; (back row) Kelsey Kleven, of the Prairie du Chien School District, Educational Leadership Award; Mary and Steve Johnsrude, Paulette and Jody Riley, of the Crawford County Dairy Breakfast, Tourism Award. Missing are Artie and Debbie Johnson, of Johnson’s One Stop in Seneca, Above and Beyond Award. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin


The Crawford County Community Fund held its 10th Leadership Awards Reception April 28 at the Gays Mills Community Commerce Center.  This was the organization’s first banquet since 2019, due to Covid, and the award recipients were those actually selected in 2020 but honored this year.

Nominated and chosen by the CCCF advisory board, those honored were:

Business Development Award: Gerry and Mary Krachey, former owners of L&M’s BP in Wauzeka;

Educational Leadership Award: Kelsey Kleven, special education teacher with the Prairie du Chien School District;

Outstanding Youth Leadership Award: Julie DeHart, President of the Prairie United Soccer Association;

Tourism Award: Crawford County Dairy Breakfast, accepted by volunteers Mary and Steve Johnsrude and Paulette and Jody Riley;

Leadership and Service Award: Friends of the Gays Mills Swimming Pool (now Friends of Gays Mills), accepted by volunteers Amanda Knutson, Tara Heisz and Larry McCarn;

Above and Beyond Awards: Artie and Debbie Johnson, owners of Johnson’s One Stop in Seneca. 

The Crawford County Community Fund was established in 2008 as a permanent endowment for the benefit of the County. The fund’s mission is to support economic development in the county. 

As CCCF advisory board chair Jane Holzhauer stated at the reception, the Crawford County Community Fund—which operates under the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin—serves main three purposes. 

1.) Since 2008, the fund has worked with regional individuals and groups to contribute charitably toward the betterment of the county. Based on need and applications, the CCCF board has awarded $70,000 in grants to projects and programs such as school districts, youth organizations, community projects, etc.

2.) Since 2011, Crawford Markets Care has provided $30,000 worth of food coupons and vouchers to low income families in need of access to healthy, local produce and products. The vouchers can be paid at county farmers markets, which in turn supports the producers as well. 

3.)  The Crawford County Community Fund has presented its Leadership Awards to county leaders since 2011. At least 64 individuals and groups have been recognized for their incredible contributions and achievements.

For more information about nominating someone for the 2023 Leadership Awards honor, joining the Crawford County Community Fund advisory board, applying for the annual grant cycle, or receiving vouchers for fresh local produce to fulfill your family’s needs, visit or contact Holzhauer at 608-872-2345 or

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