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.

IAUW announces 2022 program funding

Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW) will award $127,025 in grant funding in 2022. The money will bolster 33 non-profit programs and organizations in Lake, Miner and Moody Counties.

President Lori Gustaf made the announcement at IAUW’s Annual Meeting February 15. Representatives from several of the organizations receiving funding were in attendance.

IAUW welcomed a great turnout for its Annual Meeting February 15.
IAUW President Lori Gustaf announced 2022 allocations at the meeting as well as reviewed 2021 program success stories.
Madison Middle School Principal Cotton Koch spoke about the school’s MakerSpace/Art Club, which will receive funding in 2022.

IAUW coordinates financial and volunteer resources for non-profit agencies which address and support mental and physical health, education and financial stability.

To receive funding, organizations must apply and meet allocation guidelines. The IAUW board reviews applications and considers them based on community impact, program effectiveness and other factors.

Regional Disaster Officer Dan Wall, left, accepted funding from IAUW President Lori Gustaf on behalf of American Red Cross – Disaster Cycle Services.
Michelle Madsen accepted funding on behalf of Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota’s Mentoring Services program at Flandreau Middle School.
The Interlakes Senior Citizen Center is a 2022 funding recipient.
Kali Ahlers, psychologist for the Flandreau Public School District, spoke on behalf of Moody County Child Protection Team, a 2022 funding recipient.

“Nearly all of the agencies who requested funding for 2022 will receive 80% or more of their request,” said Gustaf. “We are proud of that number and are so grateful for our generous donors and advocates. With their help, we can continue to enrich lives and strengthen the communities we serve.”

Gustaf said IAUW focuses on programs related to health and wellness, youth enrichment, education and development, senior outreach and basic needs and support. 2022 recipients include:

  • American Red Cross – Disaster Cycle Services
  • Boy Scouts of America – Madison Area Scouts
  • Boy Scouts of America – Sioux Council Boy Scouts
  • Boys & Girls Club of Moody County
  • Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity – Build Madison
  • Children’s Care Corner
  • Delta Dental Mobile Program
  • Dolly Parton Imagination Library
  • Domestic Violence Network
  • East Dakota Transit
  • Flandreau Elementary Weekend Fuel
  • Girl Scouts – Dakota Horizons Leadership Experience
  • High Plains Alternative High School
  • Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership – Administration building
  • ICAP 60’s Plus Dining
  • ICAP Head Start Pre-Birth to Five
  • ICAP Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
  • ICAP Miner County School Supplies
  • ICAP Moody County School Supplies
  • ICAP Delta Dental Mobile Program – Flandreau visit
  • Interlakes Senior Citizen Center
  • Lutheran Social Services Mentoring Services at FMS
  • Madison Middle School MakerSpace/Art Club
  • Moody County Child Protection Team
  • Moody County 4-H Robotics
  • Madison VFW Baseball
  • Rutland Elementary Out of School Time
  • The Salvation Army – Temporary Emergency Welfare Assistance
  • Studio 52
  • Trinity Lutheran Preschool
  • Valiant Living
  • The Wholeness Center

Grant funding was made possible in part by the generosity of individuals and businesses who donated to IAUW’s most recent campaign drive, which concluded in December. Other fundraising efforts included IAUW’s annual WIN BIG Raffle and Dine Out to Donate promotion.

The East Dakota Transit is a 2022 funding recipient.
Pictured with Gustaf from Moody County Child Protection Team are, from left to right, Taylor Carpenter, Cody Johnson, Kali Ahlers, Kari Lena-Helling and Chelsea Molden.

Madison banks renew commitment to area non-profits

First Bank & Trust and FirstLine Funding Group (FFG), along with their respective employees, have pledged over $30,000 to Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW) in 2022. The money will support non-profit programs and agencies in Lake, Miner and Moody Counties.

As members of the Fishback Financial Corporation, First Bank & Trust and FFG operate with an emphasis on philanthropy and volunteerism. Fishback and its subsidiaries offer a 100% match of employee donations to United Way. Employees can also receive a paid day off work for pledging at least one hour of pay per month.

“Our organizations believe strongly in the concept of paying it forward, and our employees share in that commitment,” said Mike Kane, community bank president of First Bank & Trust. “We care deeply about the communities we serve, as they contribute to our success. We are proud to be able to give back to the places we call home.”

Impressively, the donation from First Bank & Trust and FFG comprises roughly one third of the total funding IAUW raised during its campaign drive, which concluded in December. IAUW collected $91,000 in pledges and will announce 2022 program funding at its upcoming Annual Meeting, scheduled for February 15.

First Bank & Trust and FirstLine Funding Group employees gathered to present more than $30,000 to IAUW President Lori Gustaf. Pictured, from left to right: Kate Egge, Traci Reinicke, Nick Bird, Brenda Franken, Lori Byrd, Betty Weider, Deb Alfson, Sydney Whitson, Gustaf, Tanner Barnhart, Renee Gullickson and First Bank & Trust President Mike Kane. Gustaf is also president of FirstLine Funding Group.

IAUW to host Annual Meeting

Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW) will announce 2022 allocations and share success stories at its upcoming Annual Meeting, Tuesday, February 15.

The agenda includes a recap of the organization’s impact in 2021 plus highlights from partner agencies. The board will also recognize Heart Club members, event sponsors and outstanding supporters from the past year.

Also planned for the meeting are details on IAUW’s program funding for 2022. The board concluded their annual campaign drive in December and determined allocations in January.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend the meeting, which will take place at FirstLine Funding Group in Madison. Refreshments will be served at 5:00 p.m. followed by a short program at 5:30 p.m.

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.