Outstanding supporters recognized

Individuals, businesses honored for contributions and service in 2021

Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW) does more than raise funds, and its partners contribute more than money. Ideas, volunteer power, in-kind support and more help enrich lives and build stronger communities across the region.

Each year IAUW calls attention to people and organizations who have helped make a difference. Four local collaborators have earned recognition for their contributions and service in 2021.

IAUW Executive Director Katie Hahn, left, and President Lori Gustaf, right, present an Outstanding Supporter – Volunteer award to Jessi Giles.

Outstanding Supporter – Volunteer

Madison native and Dakota State University student Jessi Giles was recognized for her contributions as a volunteer.

“Jessi is known by many for her athletic accomplishments, but she also deserves recognition for her generosity and selflessness,” IAUW President Lori Gustaf said. “She has been a tremendous help this past year and displayed a true desire to help others.”

Giles completed an unpaid internship with IAUW in 2021, during which she helped with the WIN BIG Raffle and other United Way promotions. She also spearheaded a fundraiser with the DSU Women’s Basketball Team to raise money for Madison preschools.

“Growing up in Madison I was able to benefit firsthand from all that United Way does for the community. As an intern, I was excited to give back to United Way and in turn support the community that helped raise me,” said Giles. 

Currently pursuing a master’s degree, Giles graduated from DSU in December with an undergraduate degree in English for New Media.

From left to right, Tammy & Mike Miller are recognized by IAUW President Lori Gustaf as Outstanding Supporters in the Donor category.

Outstanding Supporter – Donor

Tammy and Mike Miller of Madison were recognized for their dedicated support of IAUW. The couple are longtime donors, including multiple years as Heart Club members, which requires annual donations of $500 or greater.

“We are appreciative of the Millers’ continued support,” Gustaf said. “Their unwavering contributions have helped United Way enrich lives and make strides towards equity for people in this region.”

Mike is retired from B&G Trucking in Madison and Tammy is the CEO Of Madison Regional Health.

From left to right, Montgomery’s Store Assistant/Designer in Training Elle Gehrels, Interior Designer Lauren Peterson and Owner Connie Sinclair accept an Outstanding Supporter award from IAUW President Lori Gustaf.

Outstanding Supporter – Business

Montgomery’s was named the outstanding corporate partner of 2021. The local business is a long-time advocate of United Way, having partnered with IAUW for various promotions.

In 2021, Montgomery’s celebrated the grand opening of its fourth South Dakota showroom with a Parking Lot Party at its Madison location. The event featured a live performance by Dustin Evans & the Good Times Band as well as food and beverages.

It also served as a fundraiser, as Montgomery’s promised to collect free-will donations for IAUW during the concert. The event garnered $700 as well as brought awareness to IAUW’s WIN BIG Raffle, which was underway at the time.

“The concert was a wonderful celebration that brought people together in food and fellowship as well as helped promote community service. We give much thanks to the Sinclair family and the entire Montgomery’s crew for their faithful support,” Gustaf said.

IAUW President Lori Gustaf, left, honored former board member Rob Buchholtz for his dedicated service and advocacy.

Recognition of service

Gustaf recognized the Outstanding Supporters at IAUW’s recent Annual Meeting, held February 15. Madison resident Rob Buchholtz was also honored for his years of service.

Buchholtz served on the IAUW volunteer board from 2010 to 2021, including five years as President. He also served a leadership role on the board’s Allocations Committee, which helps determine program funding.

“Rob has been a pleasure to work with and a true asset to our board. He has dedicated countless hours towards our mission, and we will miss him greatly,” said Gustaf.

Buchholtz is the CFO for Dakota Ethanol in Wentworth.

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