Mandan News

Don Russell awarded lifetime of caring award

Missouri Slope Areawide United Way held its annual meeting and luncheon on Friday, Jan, 25. The event included donor recognition, volunteer appreciation and the reveal of the 2012 Campaign total.

This year, MSA United Way had a dramatic increase in its fundraising campaign. As of Jan. 25, a record $1,982,000 was raised. This is an increase of nearly 27 percent compared to the 2011 Campaign. Volunteers continued to bring in last-minute dollars up until the event.

“The generosity of this community is overwhelming,” said Executive Director Jena Gullo. “We are proud of our neighbors and our accomplishments this year. This is truly a community that cares about its members and United Way remains an agent to foster community growth and support.”

Also recognized at the luncheon, as the Bismarck-Mandan Lifetime of Caring award recipient, was the late Don Russell for his commitment and dedication to the community. Don’s family was in attendance to accept the award. The top 20 business contributors were also acknowledged as well as several companies and organizations with significant increases to their employee campaigns.

The money raised will support 34 partner agencies during 2013. MSA United Way has also responded to the demands of donors by shifting to the Community Impact Model. Through this community-supported approach, United Way uses donor and partner input to create initiatives that focus on the root causes of issues, instead of only treating the symptoms. The first initiative, focused on income, removes barriers to employment and helps families become self-sufficient. Partner agencies who have received Income Initiative funding will collectively measure their progress throughout the year.

In addition to the Income Initiative, United Way plans to develop initiatives focused on education and health.