The second year of Feed the Valley Cook’s Challenge was a resounding success. With an at-capacity room, packed with high energy guests, and with your help, this mission-focused event raised $67,000! The funds raised give Valley Outreach the financial security to fund our food shelf, including the growing Snack Pack and Mobile Choice programs, as well as parts of our Clothing Closet and Emergency Fund programs.
Our crazy Dessert Dash blew the top off expectations with $6,447 in contributions! This moved us towards an event total of $67,000, a healthy increase over last year’s totals.
We also recognized just a few people (of the hundreds!) who create space in their personal and professional lives for contributions.
Lisa Schoelerman, St. Croix Education Association and the St. Croix Labor Assembly and Brian Beedle, St. Croix Labor Assembly, represented one of our long-standing community relationships. Notable with the St. Croix Labor Assembly is their continued advocacy for Valley Outreach with Stamp Out Hunger, a national food drive. Rather than have food donations go to a central distribution point (out of area), the Labor Assembly worked hard to ensure that mail carrier trucks pull directly up to our doors, keeping contributions from our community IN our community. Just before the start of school in August, Lisa rallied fellow employees with the Stillwater Area Public Schools for a 5K walk and run. All donations came to Valley Outreach. We appreciate this historical partnership!
Michelle Bergh, 2015 Miss Minnesota Junior Teen, is a sophomore at Stillwater Area High School. Volunteering since the age of 5, she created an entire talent show with 44 performers earlier this year. Proceeds benefitted both Valley Outreach and Susan G. Komen. In 2013, Susan G. Komen and Yoplait selected Michelle to give a keynote speech about volunteerism at the Xcel Center in front of 19,000 teens at We Day MN. Michelle is involved with the largest pageant system in the world, an organization placing great value on community engagement and volunteering. We are extremely fortunate to have young leaders like her creating such positive momentum!
Diane Erickson, St. Croix Yacht Club Auxiliary Community Outreach Coordinator and Bonnie Peitz, 2015 St. Croix Yacht Club Auxiliary President, are yet more community connectors. Since 2001, the Auxiliary has been giving back to the community they love and enjoy. From cash to donations of food and toiletries – they support Valley Outreach multiple times a year with many fun events. It is a team effort with the attending members contributing in a variety of ways. Additionally, last year, Bonnie created a coat drive as a community project with Valley Outreach, among other groups, as one of the recipients.