Donald G. Gardner became a summer resident at Ojibway Lake outside of Ely, Minnesota in 1941.
In 1944 Gardner donated a painting by Frederick C. Frieseke titled Breakfast in the Garden to the City of Ely. The painting was hung in the Ely Public Library in 1945 where it was admired for over 40 years.
In 1989, the painting was sold for $510,000.00 to a New York gallery and the City of Ely established the Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust to enrich the community through arts grants and scholarships.
To date the Trust has awarded more than $625,000 back to the community artists and art organizations to enrich life in Ely.