Madison businesses, employees donate $30K to United Way

Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW)’s most recent campaign drive garnered just over $75,000 in pledges. Impressively, more than one third of the total funding can be attributed to two Madison businesses.

First Bank & Trust Bank President Jon Knuths and FirstLine Funding Group President Lori Gustaf, along with their respective employees, pledged nearly $30,000 to IAUW in 2021. The money will support non-profit programs and agencies in Lake, Miner and Moody Counties.

First Bank & Trust and FirstLine Funding Group are part of the Fishback Financial Corporation. Both businesses operate with an emphasis on philanthropy and volunteerism.

“Following the lead of Fishback corporation, we’ve created a culture of paying it forward,” said Knuths. “This includes dedicated support of United Way, which impacts many lives in our region.”

Both organizations 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.

With matching funds, the total pledge for 2021 between the two businesses topped $29,790.

“Our communities contribute directly to the success of our businesses and families,” said Gustaf. “We care deeply about giving back to those we serve and to the places we call home. It’s rewarding knowing our employees share that commitment.”

Pictured: FB&T President Jon Knuths presented the organizations’ annual pledge to FFG President and IAUW President Lori Gustaf.

United Way seeking board members from Moody, Miner counties

Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW) is looking for dedicated individuals who reside in Miner and Moody Counties to join their board of directors.

The volunteer board is responsible for managing the agency as well as raising and distributing funds within its service territory. Duties and responsibilities generally include attending monthly board meetings and assisting with fundraising events or community volunteer projects.

“On average, a board member can expect to volunteer two to four hours per month,” IAUW President Lori Gustaf said.

IAUW coordinates financial and volunteer resources for other non-profit agencies and programs in Miner, Lake and Moody Counties. The group coordinates annual fundraisers as well as works with area businesses to coordinate employee and corporate giving. In turn, IAUW distributes funds to non-profit groups throughout the three counties.

“We connect volunteers, agencies and resources to address and provide for local needs,” said Gustaf. “Ultimately, we aim to contribute to the betterment of the communities we serve.”

Driven by a mission to create long-lasting change, IAUW supports projects focused on the building blocks of a good life: education, financial stability and health.

In 2019, IAUW provided funding to 19 agencies and programs located in and/or serving Miner County, including Children’s Care Corner, Delta Dental Mobile Program, Miner County School Supplies, Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership, and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, among others.

Twenty-two agencies from Moody County received funding, including the Boys & Girls Club of Moody County, the Flandreau Lego League, Delta Dental Mobile Program, Flandreau Elementary Weekend Fuel and more.

“Many of the agencies we support are located within or directly serve these two counties,” Gustaf said. “However, we currently do not have anyone from those regions on our board. We’d love to have one or more individuals join and fill that missed connection and potentially create more opportunities to better serve the areas.”

IAUW’s board has a 15-member capacity. Terms are three years and run from January to December.

“I’m confident there are people in both counties who are passionate about giving back, but maybe haven’t found the right opportunity to do so,” said Gustaf. “I would encourage them to consider United Way. It’s extremely rewarding knowing you are making a difference in the lives of so many.”

To learn more about IAUW or its board, message Interlakes Area United Way on Facebook or call 605-291-6359.

Dine Out to Donate raises $2,500

Area businesses hosted single-day fundraiser for IAUW

Sixteen businesses in Lake, Miner and Moody County raised $2,531 for Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW) as part of a fundraising event this fall.

“Dine Out to Donate” took place October 3 and kicked off IAUW’s annual campaign drive. Participating businesses agreed to donate a portion of the day’s sales to IAUW’s general fund, which helps support over dozens of non-profit agencies and programs in the three-county region.

“What a terrific way to kick off our campaign drive. We are so grateful to the business owners and managers as well as the general public for supporting this event and making it such a success,” said IAUW President Lori Gustaf.

Several business owners gathered recently to present the earnings.

“United Way supports vital services and programs for many people and every little bit helps,” said Pizza Ranch owner Tom Bernard. “We’re glad we could participate and help make a difference.”

Thirty-six agencies and programs located in and/or serving Lake, Miner and Moody counties have thus far applied for United Way funding in 2020. IAUW awarded $121,000 to 35 organizations in 2019.

Campaign pledge forms were mailed to all local postal customers and can be returned to employers or mailed to IAUW at PO Box 132, Madison, SD 57042. Pledges are due by the end of the year, but donations can also be made any time online.

Pictured, left to right: Dairy Queen owner DeLon Mork, Sporty’s Bar & Grill owner Cam Shafer, IAUW President Lori Gustaf, and Pizza Ranch owner Tom Bernard