2016 News Archives

St. Croix County United Way Campaign a Success

St. Croix County

St. Croix County employees donated $7,772 for the 2016 United Way St. Croix Valley campaign, $1,974 more than the 2015 campaign. Pictured left to right: Amy Sabelko, Rebecca Rohan, United Way Board President Cynthia Jahnke, Susan Flores-Diaz, Brad Beckman. Not pictured: Melissa Heath, Heidi Dumond, Julie Nelson, Sandy Hackenmueller, Sue Lindberg and Tara Murdzek.

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#GivingTuesday Raises Funds for 7,676 Meals

Thank you

Thank you for the support on #GivingTuesday. We raised $1,000, and combined with the match the total is $2,000--which means we reached our goal of sponsoring one month's shipment of food, or 7,676 meals, for the Food Resource Center. Thank you.

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United Way Seeking Development & Communications Director

United Way St. Croix Valley is seeking an experienced fundraising professional to grow charitable donations for our local agency while demonstrating a strong passion for helping others. The Development & Communications Director is a professional position (.80) that requires the knowledge, skills and abilities to develop and implement an overall strategic marketing communications plan for the organization. This person will report to the Executive Director and will work in collaboration with her and the Marketing & Communications Committee made up of executive board members. This position includes supervision of a part-time Marketing & Web Associate. Compensation is commensurate with experience.

Click here for more information and to learn how to apply.

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Family Friendly River Run/Walk 5K to Benefit Hudson Police Department

Family Friendly River Run/Walk 5KUnited Way St. Croix Valley and the Hudson YMCA are coming together to host the first Family Friendly River Run/Walk 5K at 8:30am on Saturday, Oct. 15 at Lakefront Park in downtown Hudson. Proceeds will benefit our HOMETOWN HEROS—the Hudson Police Department, enabling them to purchase AEDs for their squad cars. Funds raised will also benefit healthy eating through the United Way's Food Resource Center and teen programming for the YMCA.

Online registration is now open. Registrations before Oct. 9 are $10 for 12 years and under, $30 for 13 and up and $50 for a family. Registrations from Oct. 9-15 are $15 for 12 and under, $35 for 13 and up and $60 for a family. Race-day registration is from 7:30-8:15am. There will be male and female prizes in each age division: 12 and under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 and up. Leashed pets and strollers are welcome, and Catalyst Sports Medicine will be on-site for sport massage.

Event sponsors are Hudson Hospital & Clinic, St. Croix Valley Foundation and HealthPartners Power Up, which will provide refreshments.

Click here for more information and to register, or contact United Way St. Croix Valley at 715-377-0203 or the Hudson YMCA at 715-386-1616. To donate to the cause, text HEART to 50503.

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United Way Kicks off 2016 “I Believe” Campaign

United Way St. Croix Valley will launch its 2016 Campaign on September 12. The annual fundraising appeal, which funds United Way initiatives, local nonprofits and school programs serving Pierce, Polk and St. Croix County residents, will run through November 18.

This year’s campaign theme is “I Believe,” emphasizing the impact the belief of United Way stakeholders has on the community. “Thanks to our donors, we have made so much progress over the years, like providing over a million pounds of food to local pantries and shelters through the Food Resource Center, but there is still more work to do,” said Board President Cynthia Jahnke. “The relatively high household income in some counties obscures the fact that over 10% of households in Western Wisconsin live in poverty,” she continued.

United Way St. Croix Valley’s three focus areas are meeting basic and emergency needs, strengthening children and families and promoting health and independence. “With our mission of uniting communities, focusing resources and inspiring people to measurably improve lives in Western Wisconsin, United Way St. Croix Valley is uniquely positioned to bring everyone in the community, from businesses to schools and nonprofits, to the table to respond to those in need in our communities,” said Executive Director Ann Searles. Each year the fall campaign funds approximately 60 nonprofit agencies, programs and school programs.

For more information about United Way St. Croix Valley or this year’s campaign, contact Executive Director Ann Searles at 715-377-0203 ext. 102 or ann@unitedwaystcroix.org.

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PressEnter! Supports United Way

PressEnter! check presentation

Thank you to PressEnter! for another successful "Like" for a dollar fundraiser. We received 250 new likes on our Facebook page, and PressEnter donated $250. Pictured left to right are Ann Searles of United Way and Deena Reisman of PressEnter!

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Online Auction Raises $1,444 for Basic Needs

This year's United Way St. Croix Valley online auction fundraiser raised $1,444 to support programs that provide basic needs such as food and shelter. The auction ran from June 2 to July 14 and featured items donated by 26 organizations.

United Way St. Croix Valley extends its thanks to those who donated:

In-Kind Donors

  • Artgirl56
  • Badlands Sno-Park
  • Carbone's Pizzeria Hudson
  • Family Fresh Market Hudson
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Guthrie Theater
  • Hudson Bagel & Coffee Co.
  • Jill Ann Anderson
  • Kwik Trip Hudson
  • Mall of America
  • Metropolis Resort
  • Milwaukee Admirals
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Milwaukee Summerfest
  • Pita Pit Hudson
  • Saint Paul Saints
  • Six Flags Great America
  • St. Croix Valley Foundation
  • Stampin' Up!
  • The Black Oar
  • The Orange Door
  • The Parkside Restaurant & Bar
  • United Way St. Croix Valley
  • US Bancorp
  • UWSCV Board of Directors
  • Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

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United Way Distributes Funds

Fund Distribution 2016The United Way St. Croix Valley Board of Directors recently approved the distribution of funds raised through the 2015-2016 annual fundraising campaign in Pierce, Polk and St. Croix Counties, as well as the Northern Wisconsin campaign. “We are very grateful to the area businesses and individuals who generously support the United Way St. Croix Valley campaign,” said Executive Director Ann Searles. “By ‘Living United’, we invite all community stakeholders to the table--business leaders, civic leaders, school leaders, agencies. Together, we collectively identify community needs and respond efficiently with the distribution of funding to local nonprofit agencies who professionally deliver services which measurably improve the lives of those who live in Western Wisconsin,” she continued.

In addition to providing funds to nonprofit agencies, United Way continues to focus on its three core initiatives: United Way’s Food Resource Center, Success By 6 and Shelter for All. United Way St. Croix Valley Board President Cynthia Jahnke said, “United Way is unique because we look at the needs in our local communities and craft solutions that address those needs and bring long-term change.”

United Way St. Croix Valley awarded $570,557 in grants to support more than 60 nonprofit agency programs and services. United Way allocated the funds to create lasting impact in the categories of: Meeting Basic and Emergency Needs, Strengthening Children and Families and Promoting Health and Independence. An additional $40,867 will go to specific agencies designated by the donors. The total funds distributed will be $611,424. United Way’s overall benefit to the community this year will be over $735,143 when food supplied by the Food Resource Center is taken into account. The Center has distributed approximately 1,048,217 pounds of food since opening in 2008. The food is distributed to area food pantries, shelters and senior dining sites.

Agencies meeting Basic and Emergency Needs will receive $133,770. Programs for Children and Families will receive the largest distribution totaling $171,290. United Way returns 50% of the funds donated by school district employees to the district for programs assisting students. Participating districts received $13,891 in grants this year. Support for programs that improve Health and Independence will total $96,744. Agencies in Burnett and Washburn Counties will receive $44,374 in grants and $8,160 in donor designations from funds contributed by area residents, businesses and the owner and employees of Nexen Group in Webster. United Way St. Croix Valley will continue to raise funds until it is time to begin the fall appeal.

Read the full release.

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United Way Online Auction to Raise Funds for Basic Needs

United Way St. Croix Valley will be running its annual online auction throughout the month of June. All proceeds generated by this year’s auction will be used to support programs that provide basic needs like food and shelter in St. Croix, Pierce and Polk Counties.

Each week from June 2-29, United Way will post new donated items and services on eBay. This year some of the items that will be offered include Blake Shelton concert tickets donated by the United Way Board of Directors; grocery and gas gift cards; and a variety of sports tickets and memorabilia from teams including the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Twins and St. Paul Saints.

You may visit United Way’s eBay page directly at myworld.ebay.com/unitedwaystcroixvalley to see what is currently for sale. For more information, contact Kate Smith at 715-377-0203 ext. 103 or ksmith@unitedwaystcroix.org.

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John Coughlin Honored by Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley

John Coughlin honored

Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley Board Chair Jessie Klopp presented an award at the FRCSCV Reach for the Stars event honoring United Way St. Croix Valley's late Executive Director John Coughlin for his extraordinary leadership, dedication and commitment to the success of Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley. Accepting the award were his wife Mary Beth Arthaud and daughter Erin Coughlin. In future years, FRCSCV will continue to honor his memory through establishing the John M. Coughlin Memorial Volunteer Award. We are thankful to FRCSCV for honoring John and his legacy in the St. Croix Valley.

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Xcel Energy Supports United Way

Xcel Energy check presentation to United Way

In April, Xcel Energy presented a donation of $70,787 to United Way St. Croix Valley Executive Director Ann Searles. Also present were representatives from United Way partner agency Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin.

United Way is a key partner in Xcel Energy's efforts to build stronger communities and every dollar contributed by employees and retirees is matched 100 percent by Xcel Energy. This year’s local United Way campaign is up 15.7% from the prior year.

Pictured left to right: Brian Elwood, Community Relations Manager, Xcel Energy; Ann Searles, Executive Director, United Way St. Croix Valley; Heidi Herron, SCV Regional Director of Community Relations, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin; Amy Bast, Board Member, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin.

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United Way Welcomes New Board Members

Board President Cynthia Jahnke

United Way St. Croix Valley welcomes new members to its Board of Directors this month: Michael Gruenes of Securian and Todd Sherman of US Bank. In addition, Cynthia Jahnke of Sandeen Insurance will be moving into the Board President position and Ann Schilling will be Vice President. For the full Board of Directors list click here.

Pictured above: Board President Cynthia Jahnke

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Searles Named United Way Executive Director

Ann SearlesUnited Way St. Croix Valley is pleased to announce that Ann Searles has joined the staff as Executive Director. “We are absolutely delighted to have Ann on board given her extensive leadership experience,” said United Way Board President Dan Draxler. “She will be a wonderful addition to the staff.”

Searles has a background in both nonprofit and for-profit fields, most recently in her role as Executive Director of the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf, where she was responsible for fundraising, operations management and volunteer recruitment. She is also an active volunteer, serving in leadership roles with several organizations in Washington County, where she resides.

“What drew me to this United Way was the focus of the organization on bettering the community as a whole,” said Searles. “I’ve always had a passion to help those in need, and my heart resonates with the core impact areas of meeting basic and emergency needs, strengthening children and families and promoting health and independence,” she continued.

Searles will be stepping into her role following the passing of longtime Executive Director John Coughlin last August. “I am humbled and feel very fortunate to build on the foundation John built for 22 years,” she said of Coughlin. “I will work hard to ensure his legacy continues.”

To contact Searles, call 715-377-0203 ext. 102 or email ann@unitedwaystcroix.org.

United Way St. Croix Valley serves residents of Polk, Pierce and St. Croix counties. The annual campaign provides funding for over 60 nonprofit agency programs and United Way initiatives. The mission of United Way St. Croix Valley is to unite communities, focus resources and inspire people to measurably improve lives in Western Wisconsin.

Photo credit: Studio J

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Every Facebook "Like" Gives United Way $1 in April

PressEnter!

We are happy to announce PressEnter! of River Falls will again be sponsoring our Facebook "Like" promotion this year. For every new "Like" we receive on our Facebook page during the month of April, PressEnter! will donate $1. We are thankful for PressEnter!'s continued generosity and dedication to our United Way.

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Support Tornado Relief in Florida and Louisiana

Two tornadoes devastated Escambia County, Florida in the span of one week. On Feb. 16th, one tornado wreaked havoc across a 13 mile stretch of Escambia County's rural countryside. 76% of the residents impacted had no insurance and annual incomes of $7,000 to $15,000 making recovery more difficult.

A second tornado struck Feb. 23, leveling a low-income apartment complex and impacting an estimated 300 residents. United Way of Escambia County and their partners have generated over $100,000 in donations to start recovery. With no national declaration, United Way of Escambia County needs additional support.

The Louisiana United Way Tornado Fund has been launched to leverage resources and make the greatest impact in long-term recovery efforts for communities hit by the Feb. 23 storms. Households in several parishes experienced devastating loss, with a large concentration of families affected in St. James and St. John parishes.

The Louisiana United Ways Tornado Fund will provide resources for the recovery efforts in the affected regions. Financial donations to the fund can be made online or by texting LAUnited to 313-131.

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2015 Annual Report Now Available

United Way St. Croix Valley's 2015 Annual Report is now available for viewing online. Please visit our Annual Report page to download the report. Adobe Reader is required.

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Food Resource Center Distributes One Million Pounds

One Million PoundsThe United Way St. Croix Valley Food Resource Center has passed the one million pound distribution mark. Since opening February of 2008, the Food Resource Center has distributed more than 1,025,900 pounds of food and other products to area pantries, shelters and meal programs in Pierce, Polk and St. Croix Counties. That is the equivalent of 789,154 meals for the hungry. The majority of the food came from our partner The Food Group (formerly The Emergency Foodshelf Network) of New Hope, Minn. Thank you so much for your help in achieving this milestone.

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Success By 6 Launches Family Friendly Workplace Program

Family Friendly WorkplaceThe Family Friendly Workplace certification is an initiative by United Way St. Croix Valley’s Success By 6 to connect the business community and families. This trademark-registered program gives businesses the opportunity to earn the Family Friendly Workplace certification for workplace practices that support families and provide financial support to early childhood education programs.

FFW Certified Organizations will increase educational and service delivery funding through certification fees. This and educational aspects connected with certification will lead to:

  • Enhanced family friendly workplaces
  • Heightened awareness of importance of early childhood and existing programs and services and increased family participation
  • Enhanced workplace recruitment and retention of employees

Businesses will earn points for family-friendly practices to be certified as a Family Friendly Workplace. Certification will be at bronze, silver and gold levels. A few examples include: providing time off for child-related activities, offering tax saving options for childcare expenses and providing breastfeeding employees a private location for breastfeeding/expressing milk.

Businesses earning a certification will receive a plaque to acknowledge their certification, which will raise community awareness about the need to support families and attract and retain workers.

To learn more about the Family Friendly Workplace Certification program visit http://familyfriendlyworkplace.org or contact Lara Otsuka at lotsuka@unitedwaystcroix.org.

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Holiday Fundraisers Sponsor January Food Resource Center Shipment

Holiday Online Fundraiser

Thanks to your generous support on #GivingTuesday and throughout all of December, we have exceeded our goal of $2,500 to sponsor the January Food Resource Center shipment. We are so thankful for everyone's support.

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Local Team Selected to Participate in Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute

Healthier Together Team

Healthier Together Pierce and St. Croix Counties was selected to participate in the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute’s Community Teams Program, a year-long leadership training program that helps prepare local residents to address their communities’ most pressing health concerns.

“Healthier Together has a history of working on nutrition-related issues, with a focus on low-income populations, who are disproportionately at risk for obesity and chronic disease,” said Jean Needham, interim executive director of United Way St. Croix Valley. “Our team is excited about the opportunity to work with the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute on new strategies that will make healthy choices easier for those struggling to make ends meet.”

The team from Healthier Together includes members from the two-county region’s hospitals, public health departments, UW-Extension and United Way. The team will receive training and technical assistance in building stronger community partnerships, implementing sustainable change strategies and measuring their own success from national and state experts as they work to address nutrition issues affection low-income residents of the two-county area.

Read the full press release.

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DiaSorin Community Giving Campaign Supports United Way

DiaSorin presenting check to United Way's Jean Needham

DiaSorin in Stillwater recently completed its community giving campaign and donated half of the proceeds, $7,581.26, to United Way St. Croix Valley. The other half was donated to United Way of Washington County-East. DiaSorin’s community giving campaign is employee-driven and supported by administration. There is a committee of employees that plans activities and employees make the decision about where the money is to be donated. Pictured left to right: Jodie Deshler, United Way St. Croix Valley Interim Executive Director Jean Needham, Erica Lipinski, Anita Larson, Carrie Peterson, Donna Norell, DiaSorin President John Walter and Sarah Marshall.

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