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Delano Loretto Area United Way hopes to continue its momentum by increasing visibility
Oct. 11, 2010
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Board hopes to continue raising awareness for organization in ‘11

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

DELANO, LORETTO, MN – “It is the mission of the Delano Loretto Area United Way to make a positive and lasting impact on our communities and in the lives of our citizens.

“By employing the energy of people and the human resources they possess, the Delano Loretto Area United Way strives to improve the lives of all segments of community life.

“Through human compassion and effective programs, we are committed to strengthening individuals, families and organizations.”

With that mission statement in mind, the board of directors recently mailed out information on its fall campaign, with the assistance of volunteers from the Delano Senior Center.

Last year, the Delano Loretto Area United Way raised a record amount of funds totaling $55,841, divided up among 28 different agencies, according to executive director Nichole Krause.

“We will impact the lives of more than 3,000 people in our community because of your dedication to helping those in need,” Krause said.

Krause joined the United Way in June 2010 as its executive director, taking over for Jen Millard.

Krause has worked at American Family Insurance in Delano for about seven years. She graduated from Delano High School in 2002, and went on to get her business management degree from Rasmussen College. Along with the United Way, Krause is also very active in the Delano Jaycees.

For its 2011 campaign, board members hope to sustain last year’s donations at just over $50,000, despite current economic conditions.

Delano Loretto Area United Way Board President Kevin Max said the need for services in our area has never been greater.

He said layoffs are impacting our local area, as are business closures and home foreclosures. Demands on public agencies, food pantries, utility funds, and free clinics have also been much higher over the past two years,

Max said the board has really taken an even stronger look at funding locally – and also tracking where the dollars are going.

“We’d rather increase what we give to that local circle,” Max said. The United Way began locally as a “Community Chest” organization, and Max said the organization is lucky to have some long-time board members who can provide insight and valuable input to where and how dollars are distributed.

“Kudos go to them for all the help they’ve given all of us,” he said.

Max, himself, has been on the board for 23 years, and recently became president.

“I love to help people. It also happens to be my profession,” Max, a 25-year local financial advisor, said. Over the years, he has also coordinated summer youth baseball and softball programs, and has also coached.

While the United Way’s main role is providing financial support to local health and human service programs, it doesn’t just provide a blank check to these agencies. There are specific programs that are funded that have measurable outcomes, ensuring that funds that are contributed have the biggest impact possible.

The local United Way board also realizes that people may be facing financial pressures in their own families.

Max said, looking back, he has been pleased to see the amount of funds that come in to the board – and go back out – increase. He said in 1996, the board gave out $21,235 in funding and, in 2003, the board gave out $38,240. Now, that number is up to more than $50,000.

An option to contribute, for those who work for one of the many businesses that allow it, is to donate through payroll deductions.

Max said since he has been on the United Way board, it has become increasingly easier to have funds deducted right from one’s paycheck electronically.

One may also reply to the letter received recently in mailboxes in the Delano and Loretto areas. One may also donate online at: www.delanolorettouw.org, or by mail to PO Box 578, Delano, 55328.

“If you would like to have an impact greater than just sending a check, I encourage you to think about donating your time as well, by becoming a board member,” Krause said. “If your agency is interested in becoming a partner agency, please contact us for an application.”

Max said he is “extremely optimistic to hope that we can match last year’s total of just over $50,000.

Becoming more visible within the communities is also something Krause hopes to keep striving for moving forward.

She said the first “United Way comedy night” is in its planning stages, and will hopefully take place this spring.

“We partner with businesses around town to help make us more visible to the community,” Krause said. “Visibility is our main concern this year. The opportunity is there that we haven’t been able to take advantage of because of lack of board members or visibility.”

2009 fund recipients

The Delano Loretto United Way’s 2009 contributions went to the following groups:

• American Red Cross of Central Minnesota

• ARC United

• Children’s Home Society

• Courage Center

• Delano Boy Scouts

• Delano Cub Scouts

• Delano Destination ImagiNation

• Delano Dollars for Scholars

• Delano Girl Scouts

• Delano Early Childhood Family Education

• Delano Middle School Scrapbook Therapy Group

• Delano Senior Center

• Delano Schools Chemical Dependency Program

• Delano Summer Ball Recreation

• Delano Public Library

• Dial 2-1-1

• Family Education Centers of Wright County

• Freedom Farm

• Friendship Ventures

• Functional Industries

• Golden Living Center’s Resident Council

• Helping Hands Food Shelf

• Loretto Community Athletic Association

• LOVE, Inc.

• Mighty Crows 4-H Club

• Rivers of Hope

• TACA - Talk About Curing Autism

• Willing Workers 4-H Club

• YMCA Camp IHDUHAPI

To be considered for funding in 2011, applications must be received by Friday, Jan. 7, 2011.

Requests will then be considered for funding at the February board of directors meeting. Applications can be emailed, faxed, or mailed through the post office. Contact Krause with any questions.

2010 United Way Board of Directors

The Delano Loretto Area United Way is run by one part-time staff member, Nichole Krause, who is the executive director and a local area resident. The board of directors includes:

• Kevin Max - president, Ameriprise Financial

• Darren Schuler - vice president, Delano Public Schools

• Carol Traen - treasurer, State Bank of Delano

• Marlene Kittock - secretary, City of Delano

• C. E. “Deacon” Bruhn, member-at-large

• Steve Gilmer, State Bank of Delano

• Jean Kopp - Delano Area Chamber of Commerce

• Ted May - past president, Member-at-large

• Kathy Nordling, Delano Senior Center

• Alex Roeser, American Family Insurance

• Joe Tipka, Coborn’s of Delano

• Dorothy Tulkki, General Federated Women’s Club

• Bob Van Lith, Delano Fire Department

• Diane Johnson, Delano Community Education

The Delano Loretto United Way currently has positions open within its board of directors.

To become involved, call (763) 972-4429 or e-mail delanolorettouw@gmail.com.

The board meets four to six times a year, and Max said the meetings typically take place over the lunch hour. In February each year, the board meets to review funds that have been raised and requests that have been made to receive those funds.

The United Way board has also recently begun requesting all groups that receive funding to come to a board meeting to make a short presentation on their agency and what the United Way dollars provide for their participants.

Max said, in recent years, the size of the board has increased.

“That’s been really nice,” he added. “We’ve been striving to get diversity.”

Max said Delano and Loretto are also fortunate because not every community has an independent United Way board.

“Except for Nichole, we are an all-volunteer board,” he said. “Most have more paid staff, and are part of a larger United Way group.”

“It is open to anyone who wants to get involved in the community,” Krause said. “We are always looking for new board members.”

Your dollars at work

What your investments can do . . . through the Delano Loretto Area United Way:

• $25 per week – the cost of buying a magazine subscription – will provide summer library program books, and programming for teens and adults.

• $17 per week – the cost of ordering a pizza – will provide almost 300 roundtrip rides for seniors needing to go to medical appointments.

• $10 per week – the cost of going to a movie – will connect 48 families with critical resources that help their basic life needs through the 2-1-1 referral service.

• $5 per week – the cost of a fast food meal – will provide Project Lifesaver to a child or adult dealing with autism, Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders; using state-of-the-art technology to rapidly locate them if they become lost.

• $2 per week – the cost of a soda and candy bar – will provide dues for an entire 4-H club for a year.

• $1 per week – the cost of a bottle of soda – will provide a parent and child the opportunity to take an early childhood education course for 24 weeks.

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