United Way of Crookston presents annual awards in virtual fashion

Times Report
Crookston Times

    Once again virtually, the United Way of Crookston Board is recognizing the “outstanding community members who helped us make the 2020 fundraising campaign a success,” outgoing Board Chair Jacqueline Cournia says.

    “In a very difficult year, the needs of the community are greater than ever and the United Way is very proud to announce that under the leadership of Executive Director Lori Wagner, the annual fundraising goal was met again through the commitment and dedication by so many in and around the Crookston community,”  Cournia says. “The following individuals have been long time supporters of the United Way and of the Crookston Community and we are indebted to each and every one of them.”

    • Community Partner Award - Paul and Cindy Gregg

    • Outstanding Giving Award - Dr. Erik and Judie Kanten, Dave and Connie Nelson, and Ed and Patty Amiot

    • Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Service - Nell DeBoer

    The United Way also offers thanks to outgoing board members for their years of service: Jana Brekken, Rich Clauson, Tammy Moe, Betsy Larson and Allan Dragseth.  

    Virtually, outgoing Chair Cournia then passed the gave to incoming Chair Nell DeBoer

    DeBoer introduces 2021 officers and board members

    • Marley Melbye - Vice Chair

    • Sarah Olmstead - Treasurer   

    • Jess Bengtson - Secretary

    And board members: Shane Heldstab, Jacqueline Cournia, Tracy Kuchan, Eric Morgan, Laurie Stahlecker, Nicole Volker

    New board members: Tanner Hilton, Ryan Wall, Anna Olson

Wagner’s final thoughts

    Wagner recently announced her resignation as executive director.

    She offers these thoughts:

    “Change doesn’t happen alone, we are united together as a community through good times and bad.  Covid-19 has changed the way we safely interact with others and because of this, many nonprofits have had to create and deploy successful virtual fundraising and recognition events. The United Way of Crookston was no different this year as we continued to grow and adapt to doing business in different and creative ways. A few examples of this was our November online auction and also a golf ball drop raffle fundraiser that took the place of our annual Hugo’s golf scramble. Although money was raised, my favorite part of being the Director of the United Way is to connect with people face to face and share the stories of how the United Way has impacted those in need.   

    “I am proud to say that the United Way of Crookston has managed to make our annual fundraising goal again during these difficult times through the support of our wonderful donors and community partners. Currently, we are at 1% over our fundraising goal which goes from September 2020 to September 2021.  We are committed to carry out our mission for our agencies, their programs and projects that impact so many livesin our area.

    “I would like to thank my board of Directors for always being there for me throughout the combined 10 years of being the Executive Director.  The board members are steadfast watchers of every penny given to United Way and they live the mission each and every day.  Becky Cymbaluk, our Senior Administrative Assistant has been my right hand and has played a big part of the successful operations in our office.  I will truly miss working with Becky and the entire board, it truly has been my honor.

    “Thank you for your faith in me, in the United Way of Crookston and for allowing us to carry out our mission of helping so many people in need in and around the Crookston Community!”

Dr. Erik and Judy Kanten
Dave and Connie Nelson
Paul Gregg
Nell DeBoer
Ed and Patty Amiot