Joseph Plut Scholarship Fund

$57,010 of $80,000 goal

Raised by 143 people in 37 months

Joe Plut is a local celebrity and community figure known as “the mad hugger.”  Joe created a culture that fostered creative communication at Central Lakes College (formerly Brainerd Community College), where he began teaching in 1965.  He spent his teaching career at the Brainerd Campus and also taught an off-campus course at Minneapolis Community and Technical College on Saturdays in the fall of 2003. He retired in 2001.  

The Joseph Plut Scholarship Fund was started 15 years ago with a $3,000 donation by a former student, Mildred Stave (“77).  With additional contributions over the years, the permanently endowed scholarship fund has reached $41,000.  Over the past years, 50+ students have received a Plut scholarship to further their education. In early 2013 Joe was diagnosed with prostate cancer and is presently undergoing continued treatment.  It was a great hope of Joe’s that he would see his scholarship fund reach $50,000 within his lifetime.  

And on July 4, 2016 that wish came true at his birthday celebration hosted by Prairie Bay in Baxter, MN where fellow huggers conducted the "world's biggest hug" with Joe.

Joe will be 80 years old for an entire year, so let's help him reach $80K by his next birthday - July 8, 2017. 

A gift to his endowed scholarship fund will support the educational dreams of countless students for generations to come. 

Thank you for your support and for the opportunity to allow Joe Plut’s legacy to live on forever. #madhugger

Huggingly,
Joe's Friends & Fans

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This very fine article about Joe "Mad Hugger" Plut was recently published in an issue of the News Hopper! It includes quotes from some of Joe's former students. If you'd like a scanned copy, please contact the CLC Foundation.
Wonderful article by a CLC graduate!
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A sincere thank you to Joe's dearest friends and biggest fans for making his birthday wish come true! His scholarship fund is now over $50K and will support the educational dreams of countless students for generations to come.

Thank you again for helping Joe reach his goal! Rather than deleting this page, we are going to keep it up for Joe so he can revisit it as he pleases and read your thoughtful comments.

Maybe we can help him reach $100K by his next birthday? :)
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WOW!!! A HUGE thank you to the friends and fans of Joe Plut! You made his 80th birthday wish come true! ‪#‎madhugger‬
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Read a Previous Update
Sara Spaeth
37 months ago

More FB Comments: Connie Mooers Rinde: Happy Birthday Joe! I had no idea your birthday was the day before my mom's. I guess great people were born in the end of May! She would be wishing you a great day! ❤️ Debbie Nathan-Barnes: Happy Birthday, Joe! May your day and upcoming year be one of abundant love, good health, and happiness! Thank you for the positive contributions you have made to my life! Dan Davidson: Hope you had a great day Joe! Wishing you a very Happy Birthday. I think of you often. Would welcome the opportunity to meet soon for lunch. All the best, Dan Davidson Pamela Draheim Richards: Happy birthday Joe ❤️❤️ Thank you for being the best instructor I was lucky enough to learn from... Guy Doud: Happy birthday Joe! And thank you for your tremendous influence on my life! Mary Jo Anderson: Happy Birthday Joe! So happy you have touched my life. Nicolle Loosbrock: Happy birthday Joe! Hope you are enjoying the beautiful day! Angela Hanlon: Happy Birthday, Joe...from one of your many former students, and the recipient of many a hug from you. Jessi Gustason Weinhandl: Happy Birthday, Joe! I am so very grateful I was able to take your class and be a part of the mad hugger experience and be taught by such a wonderful person! You are amazing! JoLeta Goble-Buss: My mother - Verdelle Goble - thought the world of you. Happy Birthday- hugs Joanne Pickar: Happy Birthday Joe. The MAD HUGGER !!!! Graduated with your brother Bob Beatriz Bondaco: Taylor Happy Birthday Joe. Bob Faundeen: Happy Birthday Joe! Have a great day. Such chutzpah to turn 80. Jennifer Kraus Stockinger: Happy Birthday! Huggingly yours! Steve Kohls: Happy Birthday my dear friend Cindy Smith Swenson: Happy Birthday ☺️ Dave Woitalla: Happy Birthday Joe Margaret Schrader: Happy Birthday! Hugs!! Barbara Bjornson Jordan: Happy Birthday, Mr. Plut! Thank you for years of thought provoking instruction. I remember discussing symbolism in literature and finding it fascinating! Sending positive thoughts your way. Jackie Jet: Happy Birthday Joe! Miss you much! Jackie (Hakes) HUGS!! Paul Vranish: Yes! The "Mad Hugger" was a fun teacher! Happy Birthday! Lynn N Chris Christensen: Happy Happy Birthday Joe!!! Sherry Krushe: Happy Birthday!! You are such an inspiration to so many!!! Joycelyn Shingobe: The one who inspired me to write write write!

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Sara Spaeth
37 months ago

Recent Facebook Comments: Bass Lake Farm: Joe, I think you touched (literally) everyone at BSJC (my first year), BCC (my second year), and now CLC. I was thankful to have both you and Jon Hassler as teachers; I'm still thankful for having known you both! Happy Birthday! Anne Hawkinson: Happy Birthday, Joe!! I took your Film Appreciation class at CLC, also, the Jon Hassler course (remember the themed luncheon we created and served when Jon and his wife visited our class?). You've touched so many lives - now it's our turn to show our appreciation! The best to you - always! HUGS!! Doug R Donnelly: Happy Birthday ol' friend. You touched so many lives and hearts throughout your tenure. The world is a much happier place with you in it. Hugs. Cindy McCarthy: Joe, I loved meeting you in "Side by Side by Sondheim" at CLC! The tympani ! The whistling! The skull! Dcn Tim was privileged to have you as an instructor when he was at CLC. Emmett loved to stop in at the cafe named after you and he also just graduated! You've touched so many of us in so many ways! We're proud to call you "friend." Lenore Nix Croatt: Happy Birthday, you mad hugger. Hope you have a fantastic day. Love and hugs to you, Joe. Amy Maske: Happy Birthday Joe! The Mad Hugger Lives on! Such an extraordinary human being! Jody M. Flynn: Happy Happy Birthday Joe!!! You bring happiness wherever you go!!! So happy I was able to take a class from you before you retired!!! smile emoticon You are a legend in your own time!!! I honor the day you were born!!! :) Shawn Davis: Happy Birthday Mad Hugger!! One of the coolest and kindest I have met. I am so glad that I got to meet you and take a couple of your classes at BCC/CLC. It was always an awesome experience when Joe was around campus. One of the Greats to have taught at the college!! Elizabeth Schaefer: Happy birthday Joe. Have a blessed day!!! Le Ann Schoenle: Happy Birthday Joe! Barbara Goode: Happy Birthday Joe! Barb & Don

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$57,010 of $80,000 goal

Raised by 143 people in 37 months
Created May 20, 2016
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BE
$200
Barbara Estrin
12 months ago

For Jos, whose laugh and love will remain with me forever--while he's still 80 in anticipation of July 2 and another happy birthday. You fill the world with love. Barbara

BE
$200
Barbara L. Estrin
24 months ago
LK
$25
Lesley Kirzeder
29 months ago

Merry Christmas, Joe!

BK
$100
Bryan and Nancy Krantz
34 months ago (Offline Donation)
1
1
MH
$200
Mark and Kolly Hudrlik
34 months ago (Offline Donation)
1
1
JW
$50
Jim and Linda Wehseler
34 months ago (Offline Donation)
1
1
JS
$20
Joan Stefano
34 months ago (Offline Donation)
1
1
RT
$100
Robert and Diane Thornton
34 months ago (Offline Donation)
1
1
BK
$80
Brian and Meghann Kirzeder
34 months ago (Offline Donation)
1
1
DD
$100
Dan and Wendy Davidson
35 months ago (Offline Donation)
1
1

Hugs for Joe!

Sara Spaeth
37 months ago

More FB Comments: Connie Mooers Rinde: Happy Birthday Joe! I had no idea your birthday was the day before my mom's. I guess great people were born in the end of May! She would be wishing you a great day! ❤️ Debbie Nathan-Barnes: Happy Birthday, Joe! May your day and upcoming year be one of abundant love, good health, and happiness! Thank you for the positive contributions you have made to my life! Dan Davidson: Hope you had a great day Joe! Wishing you a very Happy Birthday. I think of you often. Would welcome the opportunity to meet soon for lunch. All the best, Dan Davidson Pamela Draheim Richards: Happy birthday Joe ❤️❤️ Thank you for being the best instructor I was lucky enough to learn from... Guy Doud: Happy birthday Joe! And thank you for your tremendous influence on my life! Mary Jo Anderson: Happy Birthday Joe! So happy you have touched my life. Nicolle Loosbrock: Happy birthday Joe! Hope you are enjoying the beautiful day! Angela Hanlon: Happy Birthday, Joe...from one of your many former students, and the recipient of many a hug from you. Jessi Gustason Weinhandl: Happy Birthday, Joe! I am so very grateful I was able to take your class and be a part of the mad hugger experience and be taught by such a wonderful person! You are amazing! JoLeta Goble-Buss: My mother - Verdelle Goble - thought the world of you. Happy Birthday- hugs Joanne Pickar: Happy Birthday Joe. The MAD HUGGER !!!! Graduated with your brother Bob Beatriz Bondaco: Taylor Happy Birthday Joe. Bob Faundeen: Happy Birthday Joe! Have a great day. Such chutzpah to turn 80. Jennifer Kraus Stockinger: Happy Birthday! Huggingly yours! Steve Kohls: Happy Birthday my dear friend Cindy Smith Swenson: Happy Birthday ☺️ Dave Woitalla: Happy Birthday Joe Margaret Schrader: Happy Birthday! Hugs!! Barbara Bjornson Jordan: Happy Birthday, Mr. Plut! Thank you for years of thought provoking instruction. I remember discussing symbolism in literature and finding it fascinating! Sending positive thoughts your way. Jackie Jet: Happy Birthday Joe! Miss you much! Jackie (Hakes) HUGS!! Paul Vranish: Yes! The "Mad Hugger" was a fun teacher! Happy Birthday! Lynn N Chris Christensen: Happy Happy Birthday Joe!!! Sherry Krushe: Happy Birthday!! You are such an inspiration to so many!!! Joycelyn Shingobe: The one who inspired me to write write write!

+ Read More
Sara Spaeth
37 months ago

Recent Facebook Comments: Bass Lake Farm: Joe, I think you touched (literally) everyone at BSJC (my first year), BCC (my second year), and now CLC. I was thankful to have both you and Jon Hassler as teachers; I'm still thankful for having known you both! Happy Birthday! Anne Hawkinson: Happy Birthday, Joe!! I took your Film Appreciation class at CLC, also, the Jon Hassler course (remember the themed luncheon we created and served when Jon and his wife visited our class?). You've touched so many lives - now it's our turn to show our appreciation! The best to you - always! HUGS!! Doug R Donnelly: Happy Birthday ol' friend. You touched so many lives and hearts throughout your tenure. The world is a much happier place with you in it. Hugs. Cindy McCarthy: Joe, I loved meeting you in "Side by Side by Sondheim" at CLC! The tympani ! The whistling! The skull! Dcn Tim was privileged to have you as an instructor when he was at CLC. Emmett loved to stop in at the cafe named after you and he also just graduated! You've touched so many of us in so many ways! We're proud to call you "friend." Lenore Nix Croatt: Happy Birthday, you mad hugger. Hope you have a fantastic day. Love and hugs to you, Joe. Amy Maske: Happy Birthday Joe! The Mad Hugger Lives on! Such an extraordinary human being! Jody M. Flynn: Happy Happy Birthday Joe!!! You bring happiness wherever you go!!! So happy I was able to take a class from you before you retired!!! smile emoticon You are a legend in your own time!!! I honor the day you were born!!! :) Shawn Davis: Happy Birthday Mad Hugger!! One of the coolest and kindest I have met. I am so glad that I got to meet you and take a couple of your classes at BCC/CLC. It was always an awesome experience when Joe was around campus. One of the Greats to have taught at the college!! Elizabeth Schaefer: Happy birthday Joe. Have a blessed day!!! Le Ann Schoenle: Happy Birthday Joe! Barbara Goode: Happy Birthday Joe! Barb & Don

+ Read More
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