top of page

Karie Whitson-Kirschbaum, President

After a 30 year absence, Karie Whitson Kirschbaum moved from California back to her hometown of Gary in spring of 2010. She was reminded of her cultural heritage of hard work, integrity, family and faith.  She shared the vision of others and joined the movement to showcase the unique facets of rural Minnesota. She is currently the Mayor of Gary and Chair of the Norman County Economic Authority

Peggie Chisholm, Vice President

Peggie (Paul) Chisholm, the Vice President worked to develop the Boys & Girls Club in White Earth. She is the executive director at Rural Enrichment and Counseling Headquarters in Hawley, MN (REACH) Peggie brings exciting expertise in non-profit management and a passion for service organizations that serve people in need.

Anne Nalewaja, Treasurer

Anne Nalewaja has been and agronomist since the mid-90s. She is currently in field sales with Bayer Crop Science. She is also an adult "navigator" with Shock & Awe youth philanthropy.  Aside from her horses and farming, she spends much of her spare time working with young people, raising funds for causes such as ALS and others.

Diane Littlefield, Secretary

Diane Swenson Littlefield, is also a native of Gary who was gone for a number of years and moved back to her home town of Gary. She is a U.S. Navy Veteran and works as an administrator for Tri Valley Opportunity Council, a non-profit community action agency located in Crookston.  She is also an active member of the Gary Community Club and the Gary Legion.  Diane's love for people and her organizational skills make working with this group a joy.

Buck Engen, Board Member

Buck Engen is a native of Gary and an alumni of Gary High School. He is the Vice-Mayor of Gary, the fire chief of the Gary Volunteer Fire Department and works as an manager for West Central Ag in Mahnomen.

Bryan Thronson, Board Member

Bryan is an alumni of Norman County East High School. He and his father own Thronson Construction in Gary. He is also a city council member. Bryan is the person you go to when you have to find out where to start. He is popular amongst locals and area residents for his big heart, willingness to assist and his "get it done" attitude.

Wendey Bennefeld, Board Member

Wendy has been employed with Benedictine Living Community of Ad since 2010. She was originally employed as the Health Unit Coordinator and after attending Moorhead State University became the Director of Social Services for Benedictine Living Community of Ada. Her degrees in social work and gerontology.

Wendy Bennefeld

Audrey Felske, Founding Treasurer

Audrey Felske started as treasurer when Gary Cares was founded in 2010. She announced her retirement effective Jan. 2020 and we already miss her! She is a life long citizen and alumni of Gary High and a retired tax preparer.  Audrey is continually involved in community and church projects such as the Norman Co. Historical Society, Gary Lutheran Quilters and more.  In whatever she does, her focus is to make it easier for the citizens of Gary to better appreciate and enjoy their home town.

Alden Anderson, Honorary Board Member

Alden Anderson is the "unofficial" historian for the city of Gary and the "keeper of the notes".  His love is the Norman County Historical and Genealogical Society. He is the beloved retired as the music teacher/choir director of  Gary High School/NCE. He remains active as the music director of the Gary Lutheran Church and any choir that is gathered for events in our area.  His energy and excitement for projects furthering our town is contagions.  Just his archive of photos and recall of historical events and documents for our region is invaluable!  

Elwood E. Narum, a tribute to our founding president

Elwood Narum, our founding president, passed away the summer of 2015 but his legacy lives on. Though he hadn't lived in Gary for over 60 years, he was a life time member of the Gary Legion Post.  He became active in assisting his home town when he was home for his 60th Bulldog class reunion/ Gary Days in 2010.  His visit to Gary reminded him of  the wonderful impact the town of Gary had made on his life and he joined forces with the rest.  Elwood would have told you he was "technically" born in Flom and then moved to Gary, but we claim him as ours.


  Elwood left $20,000 in his will to Gary Cares and over $30,000 to the city of Gary Firehall Building Fund.


  In June 2016, the Elwood E. Narum Recreational Park was dedicated in his honor. It was a renovation project of the old Gary Tennis Court to which he donated both time, money and effort to help a young girl achieve her dream to see her town a fun place for kids to live.

In memory of a great Gary Bulldog alumni

1 / 1

Please reload

Bulldog 2.jpg

Thank you Peggie for all your servie - Congratulations on your position with REACH. We will miss you!

bottom of page