MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota businessman made a very large donation to the WCCO Trees of Hope campaign for the Minnesota Military Family Foundation, to honor a very special military family.

The foundation offers families a financial safety net when their loved ones are deployed overseas.

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“They spent their whole life serving people who serve our country,” JNBA CEO and financial advisor, Richard Brown, said. “It was a perfect match.”

Brown donated $150,000 during the phone bank on behalf of The Robert and Alice Strobel Foundation. Alice Strobel was once his client.

“Alice and I spent a lot of time talking about Bob and how much time he spent in the military, and how important that was to him,” Brown said.

Bob was Alice’s late husband of 55 years. A member of the U.S. Air Force and a chaplain, he later became a successful realtor and businessman, leaving a small fortune behind to Alice. When he died, she wanted Brown’s help to use the money with purpose.

“We talked about what a private foundation would mean and that we would have the legacy go on,” Brown said.

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Thus, the Robert and Alice Strobel Foundation was born.

Alice donated hundreds of thousands of dollars, giving to the homeless and funding education programs.

Alice passed away in 2012 at the age of 90, but she wasn’t done giving back.

“I found out after she had passed that she had asked me to be the advisor with the trustee on her private foundation,” Brown said.

Since then, Brown has continued Alice and Bob’s mission, choosing causes that were important to the couple.

When he heard about WCCO’s Trees of Hope phone bank for Minnesota Military Family Foundation, it was a no brainer.

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“They will look down and know that their hard work didn’t just stop when they passed,” Brown said.  “It’s very important for the military veterans and their families.”

Kate Raddatz