Mower County’s United Way surpasses goal

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 1, 1999

It happened Monday morning.

Wednesday, December 01, 1999

It happened Monday morning.

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It isn’t recalled when the exact moment arrived, but that’s when MaryAnn Rasmussen, officer manager, and Amy J. Baskin, executive director, turned to each other and said "We made it!"

The United Way of Mower County, Inc. campaign officially reached its goal of $600,000 this week.

Both large and small contributions have made this another banner year for the organization that so many charities depend upon.

Already, they’re making plans for the campaign victory party Tuesday, Dec. 7, beginning at 5 p.m. at Holiday Inn Austin Conference Center.

Baskin and campaign chair, Randy Kramer, revealed the milestone Tuesday, when they visited the Holiday Inn Conference Center for yet another sizable donation.

"We’re over the $600,000 mark," said Baskin, "and we’re still a week away from the end of this year’s campaign."

That means, the local United Way fund drive has reached or surpassed its annual goal for 20 consecutive years.

Twenty-five charities benefit from the local fund-raising effort.

This year, incentives have marked several successful campaigns, including that at Holiday Inn Austin Conference Center.

"Our goal was $750 and we raised $800," said Andy Thilges, general manager – hotels.

The contributions from Torgerson Properties, Inc.’s Perkins Family Restaurant and Days Inn as well the Holiday Inn facilities, including Torge’s, Torge’s Bar & Grille, Torge’s Live and Green Mill.

"We held a special contest to offer incentives to our employees," said Thilges. "That helped, but I think our people felt the United Way is such a worthwhile cause that does so much for so many."

Thilges’ assistant manager, Shawn McAlister, and Troy Thompson, general manager – food and beverage, joined employees Jessica Smith, guest service representative, and Addie York, banquet supervisor, in making the presentation of a symbolic check to Baskin and Kramer.

In the last two weeks, the campaign has been bolstered by goal-exceeding contributions from Quality Pork Processors, Inc. and Austin Medical Center – Mayo Health System, as well as Norwest Bank Austin.

The QPP contribution of a record-setting $64,577 came from two of every three employees at the second-largest area employer located in Austin. The goal was $57,000.

AMC-Mayo Health System employees donated or pledged over $30,000 to the campaign, far-exceeding their goal.

Target Store of Austin registered $6,826 and Weyerhaeuser Paper Company’s Austin plant workers contributed $11,600.

In addition, the Hormel Foods Corporation Austin plant employees conducted another successful campaign and the Hormel Foods corporate employees also fueled the campaign.

The Hormel Foods corporate fund drive resulted in $93,000 from some 800 contributors, while $47,000 came from plant workers in the Local 9 bargaining unit of the United Food and Commercial Workers union.

Holiday mixer Thursday

Torgerson Properties of Austin will hold an invitation-only Holiday Mixer Thursday on the heels of the conclusion of a successful United Way fund drive.

The celebration will be held 5-7 p.m. Thursday in the grand ballroom at Holiday Inn Austin Conference Center.

Complimentary hors d’oeuvres, champagne, hot cider and Tom and Jerrys will be provided invited guests.

The Holiday Mixer also includes "celebration of the new millennium" and is sponsored by Holiday Inn, Days Inn, Perkins, Green Mill, Torge’s, Torge’s Bar & Grille and Green Mill.