Melinda Gorry wins IAUW, ERFCU contest

Melinda Gorry of Madison was drawn as the winner of Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW) and East River Federal Credit Union’s (ERFCU) 15×15 Challenge. Gorry won a $500 Visa Gift Card donated by ERFCU.

Held as part of IAUW’s campaign drive, the 15×15 Challenge asked people to pledge at least $15 a month in 2022 and return their pledge form by November 15. One hundred sixteen people qualified.

“This contest alone raised at least $20,880, if not more, towards our campaign, which is incredible,” said IAUW President Lori Gustaf. “We are so appreciative of East River Federal Credit Union for creating this incentive and for those who choose to give to United Way.”

This is the fourth year IAUW and ERFCU have teamed up to offer the 15×15 Challenge. One hundred eleven people qualified in 2020.

Pictured: Melinda Gorry, second from right, was drawn as the winner of the 15×15 Challenge. Pictured from left to right, IAUW Vice President Danielle Kearin, ERFCU Marketing Specialist Erica Clements, Gorry, and IAUW President Lori Gustaf.

GMACC and United Way pay it forward

DownTown in MadTown, Bacon Bash raise money for shoe drive, non-profits

Community events coordinated by the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce (GMACC) brought people together in fellowship and family-oriented fun. With help from Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW), the events continue to offer benefits long after they’ve concluded.

IAUW volunteered to manage beverage sales at this summer’s DownTown in MadTown (DTMT) concert series and fall festival Bacon Bash. In return, they would receive a portion of the sales plus tips.

IAUW garnered more than $3,200 from the events. President Lori Gustaf said the money will serve towards their mission of improving the lives of people in Madison and the surrounding area.

Roughly half of the money will be added to IAUW’s general fund, which supports all its partner agencies in Lake, Miner and Moody counties. The remaining was donated to a local shoe drive to support school-aged children.

Sarah Hock of Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership conducts an annual Back to School Shoes project on behalf of Salvation Army. Hock raised $7,000 in 2021 to provide new shoes to 145 children in 70 families. Children ranged in age from Jr. Kindergarten to 12th grade.

IAUW donated $1,500 to the project, which would serve roughly 30 children.

“The simple gift of new shoes can have a dramatic impact on a child in the best way. We are grateful for the support from United Way to help those in need in our community,” Hock said.

This is the third year IAUW has teamed up with GMACC for the community events. Since 2018, the partnership has helped IAUW raise nearly $7,000.

“United Way leverages partnerships to raise funds for vital community service programs,” Gustaf said. “We have found a terrific partner in the Madison chamber and appreciate their support immensely.” 

IAUW is currently hosting its campaign drive for 2022. Partner agencies and funding recipients will be announced after the new year. The organization awarded over $107,000 to 27 non-profit partners in 2021.

Interlakes Area United Way managed beverage sales at community events coordinated by the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce in 2021. In return, GMACC donated a portion of the sales back to United Way. Pictured, GMACC Executive Director Eric Hortness, right, presents a check for $1,500 to IAUW Vice President Danielle Kearin, left, and President Lori Gustaf, center.

DSU Women’s Basketball partners with IAUW for fundraiser

Group raised funds for local preschools

The Dakota State women’s basketball team partnered with Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW) in a fundraising event to raise funds for local preschools. The team hosted a Bingo game at two Dakota State volleyball games and was able to raise over $900 for preschools in the area to use towards supplies for their classrooms.

“The community does so much for our team, so we wanted to find a way to give that support back,” said Dakota State Women’s basketball player and IAUW intern Jessi Giles. “IAUW came up with the idea to help local preschools and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for the basketball team to help out.”

IAUW is a non-profit organization that coordinates financial and volunteer resources for other non-profit agencies in Miner, Lake and Moody Counties. As an intern, Giles was able to connect IAUW with the basketball program to set up and coordinate the fundraiser.

The fundraising event was held on October 7th and 8th at the Dakota State University Fieldhouse during the university’s home volleyball games. Those in attendance at the game were able to purchase Bingo cards from the basketball team and play along throughout the match. There were two winners each night who took home $25 gift cards that were donated by Casey’s in Madison, SD.

The funds raised were also matched by FirstLine Funding Group (FFG) in Madison, SD. FFG matched the funds raised by the Trojan basketball team which brought the amount to over $900.

The money raised will be split evenly between the preschools in Madison, SD for them to purchase supplies as needed.

“This donation will go towards funding classroom supplies for our math and literacy centers,” said Beth Himley, teacher for the Trinity Lutheran Preschool. “It means so much that IAUW and the women’s basketball team thought of the preschools to donate to.”

Featured image: Members of the Dakota State women’s basketball team are pictured with Trinity Lutheran Preschool teacher Beth Himley. Trinity Lutheran Preschool was one of six preschools that received a donation. From left to right: Ashlyn Macdonald, Beth Himley, Jessi Giles, Lexi Robson, and McKenzie Hermanson.

Dine Out to Donate raises $3,500

Fundraiser caps $12,000 historically

Held October 6, Dine Out to Donate raised $3,546 for Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW). It is the most the fundraising event has garnered since its inception.

“This is our fifth and most successful event yet,” said IAUW President Lori Gustaf. 

“We are so grateful to the business owners, managers and staff as well as the public for their generosity and hard work. What a terrific start to our campaign season.”

For the event, sixteen restaurants and eateries in Lake, Miner and Moody Counties pledged to donate a portion of the day’s sales to IAUW. Participating businesses included:

  • Animal’s Bar and Grill in Canova
  • Bluejays Bar & Grill in Egan
  • Casey’s Pizza in Madison
  • Classic Corner in Madison
  • Dairy Queen in Madison
  • Hillside Steakhouse and BluCabana Bar on Lake Madison
  • Madison Golf & Country Club in Madison
  • Nicky’s Restaurant in Madison
  • OneStop in Madison
  • Pizza Ranch in Madison
  • PrimeTime Tavern in Madison
  • Sporty’s Bar & Grill in Madison
  • Stadium Sports Grill in Madison
  • Subway in Madison
  • Sundog Coffee in Madison
  • The Office in Madison

Owners and staff from some of the businesses gathered recently to present the earnings to IAUW board members.

“I am happy to be a part of Dine Out to Donate,” said Sporty’s Bar & Grill owner Cam Shafer. “United Way does a lot of important work in the area. Investing in them helps build stronger communities, and I’m glad to do my part.”

IAUW provides financial support to non-profit, community service agencies and programs in the three-county region. It aims to create long-lasting changes by focusing on the building blocks for a good life: education, financial stability and health.

This is the fifth year IAUW has held Dine Out to Donate. Since 2017, the event has raised more than $12,700.

IAUW will announce 2022 funding after the new year. The organization awarded over $107,000 in grant funding to 27 non-profit partners in 2021. 

Featured image: Dine Out to Donate business owners present the day’s earnings to IAUW board members. From left to right: Cam Shafer of Sporty’s Bar & Grill, Steve Sims of Subway of Madison, Tom and Beth Bernard of Pizza Ranch of Madison, IAUW President Lori Gustaf, Board Member Mandi Stegenga, Executive Director Katie Hahn, and Board Member Rob Buchholtz.

Donors can win $500 gift card

East River Federal Credit Union sponsors contest for IAUW

Donors to Interlakes Area United Way’s (IAUW) current campaign drive may be rewarded for giving back.

People who take IAUW’s 15×15 Challenge will be entered into a drawing for a $500 Visa gift card donated by East River Federal Credit Union (ERFCU). To be eligible, donors must pledge at least $15 a month in 2020 and return their pledge form to IAUW by November 15.

“As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, East River Federal Credit Union is proud to partner with other not-for-profits who share in our mission of people helping people,” said Erica Clements, ERFCU marketing specialist. “Interlakes Area United Way supports so many services in our communities that create a positive impact and improve the well-being of community members.” 

This is the fourth year ERFCU has sponsored the 15×15 Challenge. The contest helped raise more than $19,400 in 2020 and Mike Miller of Madison was drawn as the winner.
IAUW President Lori Gustaf said the 15×15 Challenge is an easy way to quantify your local impact. 

“Fifteen dollars a month equals $180 a year,” said Gustaf. “That’s enough to buy free books for a year for six children through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library or can pay for a day of food and shelter for three people affected by disaster through the American Red Cross.”

IAUW’s campaign drive kicked off October 1 and wraps up at the end of the year. 
People interested in donating to IAUW may request a pledge form via email at interlakesareaunitedway@yahoo.com or talk to their employer about payroll deduction.

Pictured, from left to right: IAUW President Lori Gustaf, ERFCU Lead Member Service Representative Dawn Allbee, ERFCU Marketing Specialist Erica Clements, and ERFCU Universal Member Service Representative Jason Howell.

41 kids get healthier smiles from dental truck visit

Delta Dental Mobile Program provides preventative, restorative dental care

Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership (ICAP) hosted Delta Dental’s mobile dental truck in Flandreau August 9-13 to help children who wouldn’t otherwise have access to dental care.

A total of 41 children were treated during the truck’s weeklong visit, receiving $24,847 in care. Treatment included exams, cleanings, preventive treatments like fluoride varnish and sealants, cavity fillings and more.

The mobile dental truck’s visit was a partnership between ICAP, Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW) and Delta Dental of South Dakota. IAUW invested $2,500 to provide the much-needed care to the community.

“Oral care is important for a child’s development. “Left untreated, cavities and other dental issues can affect overall health and lead to poor performance in school,” said IAUW President Lori Gustaf. “We are proud to support this program and work toward our mission of creating positive change and supporting good health.”

This is the third year the truck has visited Flandreau. Children from their first tooth through age 21 were eligible and services were provided at no cost to the child or family.

Pictured: IAUW and ICAP volunteers join officials from Delta Dental of South Dakota during the mobile program’s visit to Flandreau in August. From left to right: ICAP Head Start Pre-Birth to Five Coordinator Danielle Jensen; Delta Dental Hygienist Darleen Bothwell; Assistant Jordynn Gehm; Assistant Kaycee Carter; Dentist Richard Martin; and Mobile Truck Coordinator Dane Hagen.

Dine Out to Donate on October 6

Fifteen area businesses to host single-day fundraiser for IAUW

This October, Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW) is offering an easy way to satisfy the hunger in your heart to help others AND the hunger in your belly.

Fifteen eateries in Lake, Miner and Moody Counties will be hosting a Dine Out to Donate fundraising event on October 6. Participating businesses will donate a portion of the day’s sales to IAUW, which provides financial support to non-profit, community service agencies and programs in the three-county region.

“If you feel comfortable, we encourage you to visit your favorite dining establishment on October 6. It’s a fun, delicious way to give back to the community and support local restaurants,” said IAUW President Lori Gustaf.

In keeping with COVID-19 safety measures, patrons may also purchase gift cards from the businesses during the event in order to donate now, dine out later.

“Given the lingering pandemic, we are happy to offer this alternative option to provide support,” Gustaf said.

The public is encouraged to visit or buy from one or more of the following businesses on October 6:

  • Animal’s Bar and Grill in Canova
  • Bluejays Bar & Grill in Egan
  • Casey’s Pizza in Madison
  • Classic Corner in Madison
  • Dairy Queen in Madison
  • Hillside Steakhouse and BluCabana Bar on Lake Madison
  • Madison Golf & Country Club in Madison
  • Nicky’s Restaurant in Madison
  • OneStop in Madison
  • Pizza Ranch in Madison
  • PrimeTime Tavern in Madison
  • Sporty’s Bar & Grill in Madison
  • Subway in Madison
  • Sundog Coffee in Madison
  • The Office in Madison

Some businesses will also have IAUW donation boxes available for direct contributions.

This is the fifth year IAUW has kicked off their annual campaign drive with Dine Out to Donate. Since 2017, the event has garnered over $9,000.

IAUW aims to create long-lasting changes by focusing on the building blocks for a good life: education, financial stability and health. IAUW awarded over $107,000 in grant funding to 27 non-profit partners in 2021.

Pledge forms for IAUW’s 2022 campaign drive will be delivered to postal customers in the area in the coming weeks.

Jeff Nelson wins skid loader

WIN BIG Raffle raises $60,000 for local non-profits

Lake County resident Jeff Nelson was drawn as the winner of the WIN BIG Raffle conducted by Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW). His prize was a 2021 GEHL R105 skid loader, valued at $37,915 as equipped.

The WIN BIG Raffle raises funds for non-profit agencies and programs in Lake, Miner and Moody Counties. The raffle sold out of 600 tickets, garnering $60,000 in proceeds.

“We increased our goal by $10,000 this year and people knocked it out of the park,” said IAUW President Lori Gustaf. “We can’t say thank you enough to the people who purchased a ticket as well to our sponsors. The support is incredible and will have a lasting impact in our communities.”

The skid loader was donated by Lake County International of Madison, who served as the contest’s premier sponsor. Additional sponsors included First Bank & Trust, Heartland Consumers Power District, East River Electric Power Cooperative, Farm Credit Services of America, Great Western Bank, First Premier Bank, BankWest and Dakota State University.

Nelson’s name was drawn during halftime of the DSU Ag Bowl on Saturday, September 18.

Pictured, from left to right: Lake County International co-owners Tom Bloom and Jeff Bloom, Jeff Nelson, IAUW President and Vice President Lori Gustaf and Danielle Kearin.

Local childcare organizations promote WIN BIG Raffle

Boys & Girls Club, Children’s Care Corner support United Way fundraiser

Local childcare centers are encouraging people to consider buying a ticket in Interlakes Area United Way’s WIN BIG Raffle, currently underway.

IAUW coordinates financial and volunteer resources for other non-profit agencies in Miner, Lake and Moody Counties. Money raised by the WIN BIG Raffle is passed along to community service programs and organizations in the region.

As longtime partners and grant recipients of IAUW, the Boys & Girls Club of Moody County in Flandreau and Children’s Care Corner in Howard directly benefit from the raffle. Leadership with the two organizations hope people will consider the trickle-down effect in buying a chance to win.

IAUW funding supports operations

IAUW supports agencies which focus on health, education and financial stability. Both Boys & Girls Club and Children’s Care Corner reflect these values by offering affordable childcare services and youth development programs.

The Boys & Girls Club serves over 500 youth ranging from kindergarten to twelfth grade. The program provides a safe and healthy environment for kids Monday through Friday year-round. Programs offered target towards academic success, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles.

Children’s Care Corner provides reliable, high-quality childcare services to children ages 0-12 in Miner County. While in attendance, kids eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and snack and learn healthy habits like drinking water, brushing their teeth and daily physical activity.

Boys & Girls Club members watch a baking soda and vinegar volcano erupt during a science activity, completed this summer. Submitted photo

Both organizations are vital resources in their respective communities. They both also utilize United Way grant funding to maintain or improve operations.

With past funding, the Boys & Girls Club has explored new development opportunities to continue to grow and reach more youth.

“United Way helps us enrich the lives of youth through impact-driven programs,” said Chief Executive Officer Tim Lease. “Grant funding allows us to provide youth with essential tools and supplies needed to succeed and be inspired.”

The Children’s Care Corner has utilized United Way funds to improve safety standards within the facility as well as staff training and development.

Skid loader prize

This year’s WIN BIG prize is a 2021 GEHL R105 Skid Loader, donated by Lake County International of Madison. As equipped, it retails at $37,915.

The WIN BIG Raffle typically raises approximately one-third of IAUW’s annual funding. Ticket sales have maxed out in recent years, setting a new benchmark for IAUW.

The raffle raised $50,000 in 2019 and again in 2020. Building on that success, IAUW increased its raffle fundraising goal to $60,000.

IAUW will sell 600 tickets for $100 each. The winner will be drawn Saturday, September 18 at the Dakota State University Ag Bowl.

With less than a month until the drawing, tickets are selling quickly. This is good news for IAUW partner agencies, who can expect to benefit from additional funding.

“We create a safe and healthy environment for children with help from United Way,” said Children’s Care Corner Board Member Kate Calmus. “Buying a ticket in the WIN BIG Raffle positively impacts our organization and community in a variety of ways. We appreciate the public’s support.”

Children’s Care Corner is a vital resource for the community of Howard and surrounding area. Submitted Photo

56 kids get healthier smiles from dental truck visit

Delta Dental Mobile Program provides preventative, restorative dental care

Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership (ICAP) hosted Delta Dental’s mobile dental truck July 12-16 to help children who wouldn’t otherwise have access to dental care.

A total of 56 children were treated during the truck’s weeklong visit, receiving $43,916 in care. Treatment included exams, cleanings, preventive treatments like fluoride varnish and sealants, and cavity fillings.

The mobile dental truck’s visit was a partnership between ICAP, Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW) and Delta Dental of South Dakota. IAUW invested $2,500 to provide the much-needed care to the community.

“Oral care is important for a child’s development. “Left untreated, cavities and other dental issues can affect overall health and lead to poor performance in school,” said IAUW President Lori Gustaf. “We are proud to support this program and work toward our mission of creating positive change and supporting good health.”

IAUW, which serves Lake, Miner and Moody counties, has also sponsored a dental truck visit to Flandreau, August 9-13.

Pictured: IAUW and ICAP volunteers join officials from Delta Dental of South Dakota during the mobile program’s visit to Madison in July. From left to right: IAUW Vice President Danielle Kearin; IAUW volunteer Jessi Giles; IAUW volunteer Kelsey Gustaf; IAUW President Lori Gustaf; IAUW board member Mandi Stegenga; Dental Assistant Bailey Bowers; Program Coordinator Teresa Masteller; Dr. Holly Heien; Hygienist Patti Fuch; Dental Assistant Madison Humann; and ICAP Site Partner Ashley Jensen.