Head of the Lakes United Way celebrated community partners on Wednesday, May 15th at their annual LIVE UNITED Luncheon.
DULUTH, MN –Every year, United Way welcomes this opportunity to say Thank You to all of their community partners and celebrate the results of the United efforts to make our community a great place to live and work.
The event is held annually to thank the community and recognize outstanding levels of contributions to United Way in terms of time, talent, and treasure. Among the awards given are Volunteer of the Year, organization recognition, and the Live United Award. Head of the Lakes United Way’s geographic region includes the communities of Ashland-Bayfield, Greater Duluth, the North Shore of Minnesota, and Superior-Douglas County, and representatives from all areas were in attendance.
Dan Wolfe (KBJR) did a fantastic job as emcee of the event and kept things moving. We heard an uplifting story of overcoming challenge shared by representatives of Harbor House Crisis Shelters. Next was Keynote Speaker Deb DeLuca (Duluth Seaway Port Authority) who shared information about economic development updates in our port and how, United, our community is making powerful strides.
Each year, United Way community partner agencies submit nominations for the annual Volunteer of the Year award. The award recognizes outstanding volunteer service to the community. This year’s recipient of the award was Jill Christie, who has been a volunteer with the Damiano Center for 37 years. Since the original Community Kitchen program began in 1982, she has spent five hours once a month preparing and serving food to people in need and has always been incredibly dedicated to providing sustenance to people.
The LIVE UNITED award is presented to an individual or group in our community that not only understands what it means to LIVE UNITED, but demonstrates it through giving, advocating, and volunteering in order to improve the lives of everyone in our community. This year, United Way honored Mark Sitek for his dedicated support to United Way, as well as his high level of integrity, ethical judgment and practices, loyalty and all around genuine personality.
Local organizations were also recognized for their contributions in four different categories. These included: Best in Show (recognition for total dollars raised), Best in Fundraising (largest increase in total dollars raised), Best in Employee Participation (any organization with 75% or greater employee participation), and Best in Engagement (organizations engaging with United Way in four or more areas). To view all award recipients, view the complete 2018-19 LIVE UNITED Award Booklet.