What We Do
Leonard J Mikulay
The Leonard J Mikulay Foundation was established with a profound sense of purpose, driven by the core belief in fostering a compassionate and supportive community. The foundation’s primary mission is to extend a helping hand to tax-exempt Minnesota organizations that share its unwavering commitment to honoring, encouraging, and assisting individuals and their families facing various challenges.
Through targeted assistance, the foundation encourages and empowers three distinct groups and their families deserving of recognition and support:
The valiant veterans of the United States military, who have dedicated themselves to safeguarding the nation’s freedom.
The selfless individuals who serve or have served in law enforcement, tirelessly upholding the principles of justice and security.
The underprivileged and destitute, encompassing the poor and needy.
By promoting these noble causes, the Leonard J Mikulay Foundation strives to create a positive and lasting impact, enhancing lives and fostering a spirit of unity and compassion within the Minnesota community.
The Leonard J Mikulay Foundation supports tax exempt Minnesota organizations that honor, encourage and assist individuals and their families who are (a) veterans of the United States military; (b) those who are serving or who have served in law enforcement; or (c) the poor and needy.
Two ways to apply for funding:
Submit the online form or download the PDF and mail it to: PO Box: 1747 Burnsville, MN 55337
About Leonard Mikulay
In the final years of his life, Leonard Mikulay decided to create a long-term way to impact the lives of people who needed a helping hand during particularly challenging times. “I want to leave the world a little better,” is what he told others when he discussed his desire to create a Foundation. His service in the United States Army during World War II, his respect for family members who served in law enforcement, and his great empathy for the poor and needy significantly influenced his priorities. As a decorated hero who earned a bronze star during the war, he wanted to help those who have risked their lives in service to others, as well as those needing assistance through life’s challenges. With those interests in mind, the Leonard J Mikulay Foundation was created.
Leonard was a businessman and philanthropist who will be remembered for his unpretentious nature, humility, and ability to accept others as they are. Those who knew him personally recall his intense blue eyes, quiet sense of humor, and striking white hair that was always perfectly in place.
Throughout his life, Len gave to others by regularly donating to a variety of charitable organizations that met his criteria. Early in his career, he was approached by a young man looking for a job. It was a cold winter day in downtown Minneapolis, and the man was coatless. Len took off his own coat and gave it to him—-and also gave him a job. When hiring employees, he was known to favor the disadvantaged whenever he could. Over the years, Len quietly donated to veteran’s organizations, his church, and provided untold kindness toward others. He provided the resources for an elderly woman who needed to move from her foreclosed home to a secure assisted living facility. He made it possible for several underprivileged and deserving students to obtain a college education. And during the last year of his life, he contributed a meaningful gift to help modernize a nursing home for the residents who call it home.
Leonard Mikulay was born the third of four children to Mike and Emily Mikulay. His parents operated a family grocery store that was open seven days a week in the Riverside area of Minneapolis (West Bank University of Minnesota). With the exception of fighting for his country as a member of the United States Army in Normandy and other countries during World War II, Leonard Mikulay lived and worked in the Minneapolis area for his entire life. He graduated from South High School in 1938 and attended the University of St. Thomas. He interrupted his studies to join the Army and then returned to St. Thomas, where he earned a varsity letter in track and graduated in 1946 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Leonard incorporated his parents’ strong work ethic into his own career. For more than sixty years, he and his brother Arnold operated the Mikulay Company. During the height of their business operations, the Mikulay Company owned more than a dozen downtown Minneapolis properties, with the majority of them functioning as parking lots. Known as a very “hands-on” businessman, Leonard was at work daily, regardless of the weather conditions, until he was well into his 80’s.
Over the years, Leonard Mikulay invested his time with the Mikulay Company and used his resources to fund his favorite philanthropy projects. His mission was to help organizations improve the lives of others.
The Leonard J Mikulay Foundation was created in 2014 with its mission of supporting tax-exempt Minnesota organizations that honor, encourage, and assist individuals and their families who are veterans of the United States military, those who are serving or who have served in law enforcement; as well as the poor and needy.