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Editor’s Note: Minnesota-based PleasureLand RV received the Arthur J. Decio Humanitarian Award Sponsored by Wells Fargo CDF during the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards ceremony, which took place Nov. 13, 2019, during the RV Dealers Convention/Expo in Las Vegas. The RVB Top 50 Awards were sponsored by Airxcel, Brown & Brown, Cummins Power Generation, Dometic Corp., Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., Northpoint Commercial Finance, NTP-STAG, Lippert Components Inc., Protective Asset Protection and Wells Fargo CDF. Read more about the Top 50 Awards and the RV Dealers Convention/Expo in the January/February issue of RVBusiness magazine.

There’s a lot of truth to the adage “Charity begins at home” — but it’s a lot easier to put into practice when applied to a family. For a company, it’s more difficult. Obviously, a firm wants to take care of its employees — but what of the community it’s located in?

As the RV retail industry matures, however, more and more dealerships recognize the need to be a valued partner in their neighborhoods — but few have taken it to the level enjoyed by St. Cloud, Minn.-based PleasureLand RV. And with locations in the Minnesota cities of St. Cloud, Ramsey, Brainerd and Long Prairie, along with a store in Sioux Falls, N.D., PleasureLand has a number of communities to work alongside.

“PleasureLand strongly believes and encourages its staff to be excellent corporate citizens in their communities,” said President and CEO Daniel Pearson, who was elected to the RV/MH Hall of Fame in 2018. “We participate in dozens of planned events each year (and) believe this promotes a greater understanding of what it means to give and be a leader in our communities.”

PleasureLand RV President and CEO Dan Pearson (C) accepts Art Decio

Family owned and operated for 48 years, PleasureLand executives recognize the need to support their industry — the company is one of the top five dealership contributors to the RV Learning Center — as well as its employees.

As an example, an annual golf tournament organized and sponsored by PleasureLand has helped with expenses for an employee’s child suffering from cancer. But the same tournament has funded secured medication drop-off boxes for the Minnesota tri-county area and has paid for Christmas gifts for military families with a deployed parent.

But that’s only one of a long list of causes supported by PleasureLand, including:

• Donations to Hometown Hero Outdoors, allowing veterans and their families to enjoy camping weekends.

• Meals from the Heart packing events.

• Travel trailer donations to Pheasants Forever and to St. Cloud-area fireworks celebrations.

• Five-time contributor to Make-A-Wish.

• Support to the Law Enforcement Memorial Association.

• Toy drives for children of deployed parents.

• Purchasing the life-saving drug Narcan for local police departments.

There’s a lot more, from providing RVs as warming houses to the Boy Scouts during Christmas Tree drives to volunteering for the Medical League Baseball. It’s a stellar list for a company that consistently is among the top-performing dealerships for many of the products it sells. The awards, said Pearson, “are displayed proudly throughout our dealerships. They serve as a reminder to staff of what PleasureLand’s expectations of professionalism are.”

So, too, are its charitable contributions. When he accepted the Arthur J. Decio Humanitarian Award during the recent Top 50 RV Dealer Awards reception, Pearson related the story of one employee’s young son having cancer — and how teddy bears brought him some comfort. He wanted to provide teddy bears to other hospitalized children, so the PleasureLand staff loaded up several golf carts and the youngster donated them to others at the facility.

“I read something a couple months ago that stuck with me. It said you only have one opportunity to live,” said Pearson. “Well, I disagree. You only have one opportunity to die. But you have a chance each and every day to live.”