Board Spotlight: Darlene Peters

Darlene works as a Business Banking Associate at Park State Bank. Before her career in banking, she was a sales associate for JB Kaiser Jewelers for 27 years. She grew up in Grand Rapids on Pokegama Lake until her parents bought a small farm south of town. Darlene has been married for 38 years. She enjoys camping, fishing, hockey, and spending time with family, especially her granddaughter,

What inspired you to be involved with United Way?
I wanted to get involved with an organization that helps the Itasca community. In years past, I would go to fundraising dinners and listen to those events’ stories. It made me realize how much the United Way contributes to our local communities and inspired me to volunteer and join the board.

What is the most rewarding thing you have taken from this experience?
I am new to the organization and have just started getting involved, but I like how United Way helps the community in various ways. The first event I participated in was a community clean-up event that showed me the impact. It was fun to see firsthand the actual good it was doing and the people it influenced.

What is one word you would use to sum up United Way’s work?

What impresses you most about the Itasca Area?
I’m impressed by the variety of opportunities and programs available to help people. In a small community like this, we can often forget that hardships, like homelessness, exist because you don’t see it as much as you do in a big city. I’m very impressed with our services to support the homeless population, like the Grace House and Advocates for Family Peace. It has a significant effect.

What is one thing about United Way that most people don’t know?
Joining the board made me realize that the locally donated money stays in the Itasca County and surrounding communities. Before that, I assumed that it was distributed more widely. I hope people in town will continue to understand the impact that their donations can make.

What advice would you give to a potential donor considering investing in United Way?
Your donation will make a huge impact no matter the size of gift. Every dollar and every volunteer hour counts and makes a difference in our community.