In the past year, 63 area nonprofit organizations benefited from the $1,099,199 in scholarships and grants that were awarded through the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way.
On Thursday evening, many of that organization's staff, supporters and volunteers gathered at The Cellar Restaurant & Lounge to celebrate a successful year of both giving - and raising - funds.
Tim Carmody, 2012-2013 Community Foundation and United Way Campaign chairman, said the organization greatly surpassed its annual fundraising goal of $350,000 with more than 1,000 individuals and organizations contributing more than $440,000 to date.
-Messenger photo by Emilie Nelson-Jenson
Scott McQueen, board president of the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way, congratulates Paula Sorenson on her more than 400 volunteer hours given to the organization.
"Fort Dodge is truly a wonderful place to be right now," said Carmody. "It has been a banner year for our campaign, and that blessing comes from all of you. It is truly an honor to work here and serve here."
Scott McQueen, president of the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way board of directors, said the successful year has been a reflection of the many positive things happening in and around Fort Dodge.
"There are a lot of exciting things happening," he said. "Now is a great time to be positive about Fort Dodge. There are many positive things going on now and on the horizon for the coming year."
McQueen said the funds entrusted to the Foundation have increased from $4.8 million to $8.9 million in the past year.
During the event, McQueen and Randy Kuhlman, Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way chief executive officer, recognized outstanding volunteers. They were Terry Moehnke, for his work with Veterans Memorial Park and the Backpack Buddies program, and Paula Sorenson, for dedicating more than 400 hours of her time volunteering with the United Way since November.
Valero Renewables was recognized as having the outstanding increase in giving and the highest total campaign recognition went to Cargill for raising $118,000 for the campaign.
'These companies are engaged in our community in so many ways," said Kuhlman "We truly appreciate what they are doing."
Kuhlman also reflected on the growth that has taken place in Fort Dodge in recent years and the impact it has had.
"We are all about partnering," said Kuhlman. "Economic Development and quality of life go hand in hand."