Real Ranger: George Erickson
George Erickson has done quite a bit in his long life. The 89-year old is a retired dentist, passionate pilot, published author, and philanthropist.
He also loves tennis. So much so, that when he and his beloved wife Sally moved to Virginia, he spearheaded the fundraising for an indoor tennis facility.
“I told the city I’d give $60,000 of my own money. And then a handful of others and I generated enough outside money to fund the building,” he told us.
They are naming the building for him on Friday.
And last fall, he generously donated hundreds of thousands of dollars, in his and his late wife’s name.
“When organizations do good, you support them,” he said then.
The Red Cross and United Way of NE Minnesota each got $50,000, and Habitat for Humanity got $100,000. He also donated to other organizations as well.
This fall, the Red Cross came up to his Ely Lake home and gave him something. It was the Mary Coultrap Johnson Philanthropy Award.
You see, the Red Cross took his $50,000 donation, and turned it into a matching one. So they were able to generate another $50,000 with it.
Kelly Glass, from the Red Cross, told us, “The real takeaway is that he found a way to make it possible for everyone to be generous. It’s very impactful for our mission, providing hope for people who really need it.”
That definitely made Erickson happy, and is part of his goal of inspiring others to give what they can.
He credits the love of his life, for making this all possible. “I had a really good wife. Very supportive.”
If you want to help celebrate Erickson, you can attend the naming ceremony at the Tennis for All building at 3pm on Friday. 1310 S 5th Avenue, Virginia.