La Crosse’s Dahl family was among the first to pledge support for the Campaign for Better Tomorrows, calling it a family tradition to give to those in need.
Indeed, the Dahl family has been supporting the community throughout the five generations it has run Dahl Automotive. In 2004, the family formalized the tradition by creating the Dahl Family Foundation, from which they pledged $500,000 to the Campaign for Better Tomorrows.
The Dahls — grandfather Kenny, dad Harry and sons Andrew, Jansen and Tyler — base giving decisions on a number of criteria but look especially for family and youth organizations. They say they chose Family & Children’s Center because it is an all-encompassing organization that helps with both prevention and intervention for families in need. “We feel our charitable contributions are a direct reflection of our values and perspectives on life,” says Harry.
Andrew points to Family & Children’s Center as a good example of an organization that addresses newer needs in today’s society. “Divorce rates are up and single parenting has increased in our generation. We have been blessed with the means to address these needs in a positive way through our family foundation.”
The family is especially concerned that county, state and federal funding cuts are leaving more children and families in need.
“You read the newspaper and you see it. Our communities are growing and so are crime rates, alcohol use, binge drinking and gang activity. There’s more of that than the system can handle. That tears away at the social fabric of a community. People don’t want to move to towns with crime and drug issues,” says Jansen. “Family & Children’s Center can be proactive and nip it in the bud, saving incarceration costs, police costs and immeasurable costs for communities and families.”
The Dahls believe strongly that their gifts build better tomorrows. “If we didn’t believe that we could make an impact, we wouldn’t contribute,” says Tyler. “By investing in families and children, we are investing in the future well-being of our community; we are investing in hope for the future.”