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United Way exceeds annual fundraising goal by $3,115

Another year, another goal met. With a smile on their faces, campaign chairman Darren Brewster and the group's president Julie Brookbank unveiled the United Way's final fundraising total at the annual recognition luncheon on Friday. The organizat...

United Way Campaign Chairman Darren Brewster, left, and President Julie Brookbank, right, reveal the group's total funds raised Friday during the annual banquet. The group surpassed the $436,000 goal by more than $3,000. (Sara Bertsch/Republic)
United Way Campaign Chairman Darren Brewster, left, and President Julie Brookbank, right, reveal the group's total funds raised Friday during the annual banquet. The group surpassed the $436,000 goal by more than $3,000. (Sara Bertsch/Republic)

Another year, another goal met.

With a smile on their faces, campaign chairman Darren Brewster and the group's president Julie Brookbank unveiled the United Way's final fundraising total at the annual recognition luncheon on Friday. The organization met it's goal for the 36th consecutive year.

The large banner revealed that the nonprofit group raised $439,115, surpassing the $436,000 goal.

"We just got big smiles on our faces," Brookbank said after the banquet concluded. "We're just happy."

There will be 29 agencies benefitting from the fundraising this year that are located in Mitchell and the surrounding area, according to Brewster. And several representatives from the agencies made an appearance at the banquet held Friday at the Highland Conference Center.

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Mitchell United Way is a nonprofit that has operated in the community for more than 50 years, and each year they continue to meet the fundraising goal.

The fundraising kicked off with the group's annual Day of Caring on Aug. 10, and six days ago, the group was short of the goal by approximately $6,000. But Brewster said with the support of the community, United Way, once again exceeded its goal.

"It's a relief," Brewster said. "You're always concerned, but the community has been so supportive over the years, it's just been very comforting to know that."

Brookbank and Brewster credit the organization's success to following a good model and a strong group of volunteers.

Brookbank has been with United Way for 11 years and said she has seen first-hand the impact the nonprofit has had on the Mitchell community.

"It really is a volunteer driven organization and we couldn't do it without the people who give up their time to do that," Brookbank said. "We know, as an organization, that there's a greater need and we hear stories back from the agencies of things they want to be able to do for individuals they serve. It's such a pleasure to be involved with an organization that can have such an impact."

This is Brewster's fourth year with United Way, and as the campaign chairman, he was directly involved in the fundraising process. Brewster was surprised with the annual volunteer service award at Friday's event.

Brookbank was also honored with an award and received a merit award for her time and energy put into the organization.

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But both Brewster and Brookbank said they don't volunteer their time for the honor or recognition, they do it for the community.

"When you see all of those needs (being met), it just makes it that much easier to go out and do the fundraising and make them aware of what we have in our community," Brewster said.

Following is a list of special awards presented Friday by Mitchell United Way to donors:

• Leadership Award ($30,000-$39,999): Trail King Industries, Inc.

• Humanitarian Award ($20,000-$29,999): Avera Queen of Peace, Innovative Systems, LLC.

• Grand Achievement Award ($15,000-$19,999): CorTrust Bank, Muth Electric, Inc., Vantage Point Systems.

• President's Achievement Award ($10,000-$14,999): BankWest, First National Bank SD/Insurance, Hendrickson Trailer Suspension Systems, Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc., Wells Fargo Bank.

• Award of Excellency ($5,000-$7,499): Abbott House, Central Electric Cooperative, Inc., Coborn's Superstore, County Fair Food Stores, Dakota Counseling Institute, Dakota Wesleyan University, ELO Prof. LLC, Fischer, Rounds & Associates, Inc., LifeQuest, The Daily Republic, Mitchell School - Mitchell Technical Institute, Northwestern Energy, Tessier's, Inc., United Parcel Service.

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• Service Award ($3,000-$4,999): CHR Solutions, CHS Farmers Alliance, Central Cooperative, Inc., Graphic Packaging Corporation, Morgan Theeler LLP, Nu Star LP, Vern Eide Chevrolet Buick GMC, Vern Eide Ford.

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