Sioux Empire United Way Announces Fundraising Results and Awards Community Leaders

Sioux Empire United Way (SEUW) announced its campaign achievement at their annual Thank You Event on March 28, 2024, in addition to presenting awards to outstanding volunteers and business partners. 
Award Winners: 

  • Nathan Stallinga, Larry Oppold Memorial Award
  • Carol Woltjer, Helen E. (Oppold) Blair Memorial Award
  • Danielle McGrath, Brent Weiler Bulldog Award
  • Madeline Snyder, Rich Garry Rookie of the Year Award
  • Diamond Mowers, Business of the Year Award
  • Sanford Health, Business of the Year Award
  • Sioux Falls Ford Lincoln, Business of the Year Award
  • First International Bank & Trust, Heart Club Philanthropist Award
  • Rich Garry, Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Randy Knecht, David Birkeland Memorial Award

“Congratulations to the remarkable volunteers and businesses recognized today,” stated Interim President & CEO Pam Hanneman. “Your commitment exemplifies the spirit of service and compassion that defines our organization. Thank you for your outstanding contributions, which empower us to continue making a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve.”

2024 Thank You Event Award Winners
Award winners from the community. From left, David Herbster (Sanford Health), Holly Henard (First International Bank & Trust), Michele Rislov (First International Bank & Trust), Nathan Stallinga (DakotAbilities), Carol Woltjer (Family Visitation Center), Madeline Snyder, Danielle McGrath (First PREMIER Bank/Bankcard), Wayne Baumberger (Diamond Mowers). 


Thanks to the generosity of the Sioux Empire community, SEUW proudly raised $8,989,421. Tim Blotske, 2024 Volunteer Campaign Chair said, “Thanks to the dedication of our volunteers and the generous support of our donors, we achieved 95% of our annual campaign fundraising goal. Their tireless work and unwavering dedication allows us to make a lasting impact in the Sioux Empire community. Together, we're transforming lives and building a brighter future for all.”

2024 SEUW Thank You Event Fundraising Achievement Announcement
2024 Volunteer Campaign Chair Tim Blotske announces fundraising achievement. 


SEUW was proud to announce they will be able to fully fund the 75 funded programs, as originally outlined. “In 2023, we had programs that did not utilize their full funding award. With our commitment to ensuring every dollar raised is going to support the identified needs of the community, we are happy to be able to put those unused funds to good use in 2024,” stated SEUW Chief Operations Officer Christina Riss.

While SEUW is grateful to be able to support the needs in 2024, this year’s fundraising shortfall does not go unnoticed. United Way’s across the country, who have historically depended heavily on giving through workplace campaigns, have been largely impacted by the changing landscape of workplace giving. Like many other businesses, other outside factors, like an unsteady economy and inflation, have proven to be a challenge in recent years and have resulted in a decrease in the total number of givers. 

SEUW has been able to sustain their fundraising through larger individual gifts and one-time corporate gifts. Knowing this isn’t a consistent model for the future, SEUW Board of Directors leadership and staff have worked diligently to identify the strategic pillars that will help guide them into the future. SEUW Campaign Director, Taryn Latza adds, "We are dedicated to establishing new donor connections using a range of strategies. Our efforts are aimed at strengthening relationships with current donors and connecting with new donors and business leaders who may be unaware of the United Way's impact on our community. With an estimated one in three individuals benefiting from SEUW-supported programs or services, fostering community involvement through donations and volunteerism should be a shared priority. Together, we can support our neighbors, coworkers, and friends across the Sioux Empire."

2024 SEUW Thank You Event