By Per Peterson
The giving continues by the Tracy Area United Fund, which has exceeded its fundraising goal of $11,000.
That means $12,050 has been disbursed to 25 groups in the area.
The United Fund started in August 1994 with a goal of raising money to give to groups each year. It supports agencies and organizations that help residents of all ages.
“I feel that this is to benefit groups to provide services that without our help might be a little lacking,” said group secretary Janel Rau. “Like the Little Panthers can use funds for something like a field trip that they wouldn’t probably be able to offer their kids without our help. Or the Scouts, to provide a camp or something like that.”
The group meets three times a year. In August, they discuss the requests to participate, which every group requesting funding must complete to become eligible. Also, duties are spread out among group members. It’s about a three-week process for everyone to get their responsibilities taken care of. Then in September, mailings are prepared, and the fundraising goal for the upcoming year is determined.
“We set a goal that is high enough to achieve, but if we go over it, that’s wonderful,” Rau said.
The group usually receives anywhere from 25-28 requests for funding, which are handed out in December.
Some of the groups that received money this last round include Kitchen Table Food Shelf, Tracy ECCO-Hope DAC, Hospice-Our House of Tracy, Lyon County Camp SOS, Tracy Aquatic Center, Salvation Army, Tracy Area Animal Rescue, Tracy Community Ed/Rec, Kid’s World and the Lyon County Cancer Society.
The groups have until March 1 to cash their check and complete the request to participate form for the next year.
Besides the fundraising, TAUF sends in online applications to garner corporate sponsors from Casey’s, Xcel Energy and Minnesota Energy Resources.
“It’s a challenge,” raising money, Rau said, “especially for business owners, because they’re asked for donations all the time. We’ve had some very good participation from our business community. No one gets left out — everyone gets funding who asks.”
If any group would like to participate in the future, all they have to do is contact a current board member, which include Rau, Chairman Sue Keul, Co-Treasurers Carol Strand and Sandy Stobb, Denise Clouse, Chris Kamrud, Ron Dahl and Perry Fales.
TAUF is not associated with United Way of Southwest Minnesota, it is its own entity.
“We did have meetings to see if we should go together, but we just decided to keep it more local,” said Rau.