Kenny Nelson biography from Hall of Fame Induction 2008.
Kenny Nelson (Class of 1959) was inducted for his accomplishments in Football, Basketball, Golf and as a contributor to Perham High School Athletics. Kenny was a two-year letter winner in football where his speed and shiftiness made him hard to tackle and even harder to catch. Kenny had a keen knowledge of the game and could always be counted on to make the solid, intelligent play whether on defense or offense.
In basketball, kenny really shined as he earned three varsity letters and was a captain his senior year. Kenny was a great shooter and could always come up with the clutch play when his team needed it most. Nelson scored an amazing 28 points against a powerhouse Hawley team that eventually went on to the state that year in a one class syste. Kenny was a true leader and developed those skills both on the football field and basketball court.
In golf, Kenny had a smooth swing that could either drive the ball down the narrowest fairways or make it float on to even the toughest greens. He helped pave the way for future successes in golf at Perham High School. Kenny qualified for the Region Golf Tournament his junior and senior seasons in a one class syste. His senior year was a dramatic event as Kenny hit a hole-in-one in the District 23 Golf Tournament to make the Region 6 Tournament. After graduation he went on to play golf for four years at The University of Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame, Kenny proudly achieved a 3.25 GPA at the highly academically challenging University. That knowledge, along with a very supportive family, propelled Kenny to outstanding business success.
After graduation, Kenny along with his father Tuffy Nelson, started Tuffy's Pet Foods which was the catalyst for starting Barrel O' Fun and Kenny's Kandy Companies, known widely as KLN Enterprises. With this business success came the overwhelming drive and ability to help make Perham a thriving competitive community and an outstanding place to live.
Kenny has been a contributor to Perham Athletics for over 35 years. His contributions and relentless generosity have touched countless lives both in athletics and in the community at large. If you ever have dealt with Kenny in a project, you know that he willnever ask "can we do this?", instead it is always "how can we make this happen and how long will it take!" To even try to list all of the support and volunteer time that Kenny and his family have made would be a daunting task as it occurs on a daily basis in many forms. Much of his support is not always visible, but instead behind the scenes. Some of the most visible projects and the ones that Kenny is most proud of contributing to are the highly successful Perham Gymnastics program, the Little League, VFW and American Legion Baseball programs, the current fifth and sixth grad elementary football programs and the Perham football program. Kenny has also been a strong and vocal leader of Perham Academic programs and school building projects.
In the overall community, Kenny headed up the main fundraising drives for the PACC, the IN Their Own Words Veterans Museum and the Perham Lakeside Golf Course Clubhouse and Banquet facility. Kenny's drive, volunteerism and salesmanship have created a community and area which is the envy of many across the state of Minnesota. Kenny and his wife Kim helped create two other community landmarks in Perham's Angel of Hope Park and Matt's Field, which has slowly turned into one of the best High School baseball field in this part of the state. The construction of the concession stand/press box and the donation of the scoreboard and signage have completed a truly outstanding ballpark, which along with Al Krueger Field recently hosted the State VFW DIvision I Baseball Tournament this past summer.
Kenny and his wife Kim have five children, Tina, Charlie, Amanda, Matt and Tom, and live in the Perham area. Kenny Nelson feels truly blessed and has blessed a community with his talents, gifts, generosity and personality. Kenny is one of the most positive and engaging people you will ever meet. Anytime with Kenny is always well spent.