Janesville59°

Businesswoman hands out money

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JAMES P. LEUTE
January 20, 2008
— Need knows no borders, and neither does the help Patty Krarup helps coordinate.

Krarup, owner of PLK Insurance & Financial Services in Janesville, is president of the Million Dollar Round Table Foundation, a charitable organization that since 1959 has given more than $20 million to worldwide charities.


The foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Million Dollar Round Table, an association comprising less than 1 percent of the world’s financial professionals. Krarup, a 22-year MDRT member and a foundation trustee since 2000, was installed as president in September.


“It’s really a coveted position,” she said. “With 35,000 MDRT members paying dues and pledging money, everyone wants to be in the position to give it away.”


Over the years, donations have been made to more than 1,600 charities in the United States and 67 other countries.


The grants are distributed to organizations in which MDRT members have a vested interest.


With Krarup’s lengthy involvement, some of those funds have found their way to Wisconsin. Since 1990, the foundation has made 35 grants totaling more than $82,000 to charitable organizations in the state.


That includes a $1,000 grant in 2000 to the YWCA of Rock County for its breast cancer support group, a $2,500 donation in 2003 to KANDU in Janesville and a $5,000 grant last year to the Madison chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.


And when Krarup, one of eight MDRT members from Janesville, was named president, Allianz Insurance, whom she represents as an independent agent, gave $25,000 to the foundation in her honor.


“Patty was a very enthusiastic volunteer who cared deeply about women suffering from breast cancer,” said Sue Conley, now the executive director of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin and formerly the executive director of the YWCA who accepted Krarup’s grant for the breast cancer support group.


“For that particular program, it was a sizeable grant that helped us develop some excellent brochures that benefited the support group.”


While she’s now behind the scenes and directing the MDRT Foundation’s donations, Krarup has been on the front lines. She’s helped on Habitat for Humanity house builds in Dallas and New Orleans, and she’s seen the smiling faces of those helped by a grant to the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.


“We do hear back from those we’ve helped,” she said. “We get letters, and, a lot of times, we get to visit places where we’ve helped with a donation. It’s heart-warming.”


Krarup said the MDRT adopted the Make A Wish Foundation in 1984, and its donations helped the organization gain national recognition. The same thing happened with Habitat for Humanity.


“We helped put them on the map,” she said.


With fund-raising schemes rampant, the MDRT Foundation has been one of the go-to groups to raise and channel money after disasters such as 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina.


“It seems that there’s always something out there for us to be doing,” said Krarup, whose national position has taken time from her business in Janesville.


“I’ve always been involved in something or another,” she said. “I heard it said that you can’t choose the job, the job chooses you. That’s so true, but it’s particularly rewarding when you see all the good you can do.”


And for Krarup, it’s been rewarding whether her community service work has been done on a local, state or national stage.


PATTY KRARUP
Age: 54.
Community: Janesville.
Occupation: Owner of PLK Insurance & Financial Services.
Family: Husband, Bob; two sons, Lee and Lane.
Favorite hobbies or pastimes: Reading, riding bikes.
Favorite book: Anything by Jan Karon and the Mitford series.
Role model: Mother, who earned two college degrees, the last at 60 years old. If she was not working, she was doing some sort of volunteer work.
Three words that best describe you: Busy, loud and nurturing.

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