United Way
MSA United Way
WLC eNews
October 2014
Pancake Breakfast
Pancakes never get old. That's why the Pancake Breakfast is United Way's longest running event. Join us at St. Mary's Central High School on Sunday, Oct. 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

The third annual pancake eating contest will kick-off at 11 a.m. and you won't want to miss that!
Little Black Dress Campaign

During the week of Nov. 17-21, the United Way Women's Leadership Circle and friends will lead a poverty awareness campaign, The Little Black Dress Campaign. 50 participants were asked to wear one black dress/outfit during the week of Nov. 17-21 with a goal to raise a minimum of $500 each and illustrate the effects poverty can have on your access to resources, your confidence and ability to obtain employment.


Following the campaign, participants will donate their dresses and other business wear to the Abused Adult Resource Center - Seeds of Hope Career Closet. Join WLC members and friends at the Heritage Center for the Little Black Dress Announcement Party on Nov. 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It is a great opportunity to socialize with other women as well as celebrate the amount raised from the WLC Little Black Dress Campaign. 


Tickets are $40, with $25 sponsoring a child in the United Way Dolly Parton Imagination Library. We hope you can a join us for appetizers, drinks and a fun silent auction to celebrate important (and fun) event!

Upcoming Events
Community Talk

WLC episode - Nov. 4 @11 a.m. on Supertalk 1270   

Check out our podcasts  


Pancake Breakfast

9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Oct. 26 at St. Mary's Central High School 


Little Black Dress Campaign- Nov. 17-21

Announcement Party: Nov. 21 at the Heritage Center, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

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Thank You
A big thanks to the Women's Leadership Circle Day of Caring team that helped out at Saxvik Elementary! Day of Caring would not be possible without the hundreds of volunteers that came together to make our community a better place to live.
Letter from the Women's Leadership Circle Chair


You may be asking yourself - What does it mean to be a part of the Women's Leadership Circle (WLC) and how can I get more involved? It is our hope that through this newsletter we will be able to spread the word about WLC events and upcoming involvement opportunities. 


Each year on my pledge card, I would fill in my gift and select the box "Women's Leadership Circle Member".  To be honest, I did not really know what that meant other than assuming there are other women giving about the same or more.  It wasn't until I was asked to be a part of the WLC Committee in 2011 that I realized the WLC is a national movement of women that assist United Way in addressing critical needs in local communities. 


Our local Women's Leadership Circle currently has 227 members that gave over $177,000 in 2013.  Beyond the financial contribution, we ask members to also invest their time, professional expertise, and talent.  The mission of our local Women's Leadership Circle is to challenge, empower, and unite women to advance the common good in our communities through leadership, fundraising, and community service. 


I am proud of the accomplishments made by the WLC to address growing concerns in our communities.  Did you know:

  • In 2012 and 2013, the WLC hosted their Unwrap the Magic event and raised over $6,200 to support the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.  This means more children from birth to 5 have the opportunity to receive a book in the mail each month!
  • In 2013, the WLC initiated a food drive in June to help children who were not receiving food assistance during the summer months.  We enlisted over 20 businesses to hold a food drive.  These food donations accounted for over 400 backpacks that went to families in need.  Going forward, the United Way continues to partner with area business to ensure that local children are provided a weekend's worth of food so they remain healthy and ready to learn.
  • In 2014, we started Adopt a Classroom.  We are excited to volunteer with low-income, high-poverty schools and provide reading, tutoring, mentoring, and support to children at these schools. (More information below!)
  • In November 2014, the WLC will host the Little Black Dress Campaign to raise awareness and funds for women in poverty who are trying to find professional jobs.

If you are a WLC member and did not know about these events, please contact the United Way office to ensure we have your updated contact information.  We communicate by email and we have setup a Facebook page to keep members informed of WLC activities.  I encourage you to get more involved in the WLC and I look forward to meeting you personally at one of our events! 

- Sara Ryckman, WLC Chair

Gate City Bank

Adopt a Classroom (School)!

In September, WLC members met with Saxvik Elementary to discuss the WLC's initiative to adopt a classroom.  This project is intended to get WLC members involved with volunteering at local elementary schools mentoring children as part of our early childhood education goals.


WLC members will go into the classrooms two Tuesdays a month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This will be over the lunch period so part of the time will be in the classroom while the other time may be working with the kids during lunch or at recess. 


Background checks are required for all volunteers and can take approximately 2 weeks to complete. Once you are signed up, you will receive an email to complete this process. Both Saxvik and the WLC are very excited about this project and look forward to getting our WLC members involved! 


If you are interested in participating, please email Sara Ryckman at SaraRyckman@gatecitybank.com

Help Children Focus on Education
The next level of "Adopt a Classroom" that WLC has begun, is a monthly necessities donation calendar for the children and families of Saxvik Elementary.

Below are the items and drop off locations for the coming months.
  • October - Hygiene Products (shampoo, body wash, toothbrushes, etc.). Please drop off with Dorothy Lick at the North Dakota Bankers Association. 
  • November - Outdoor Weather Gear (coats, booths, mittens, hats - new or used). Please drop off with Theresa Getzlaff at Ryan Dodge.
  • December - Gift Cards for the Holidays (range between $10-$20 to gas or grocery establishments or other retailers for Christmas). Please drop off with Theresa Hall at Eide Bailly.
If you are unable to drop off these items, please consider donating an extra $10 to United Way for the Women's Leadership Circle to purchase these items for the children and families in need.