Community Celebration & Best of Awards

Each year, United Way hosts a Campaign Celebration and awards ceremony. Including a social networking hour, live music, and reflections on the past year, the annual celebration is our way of thanking everyone who makes our work possible.


Event Details

Community Celebration & Best of Awards

Thursday, May 25, 2023 | 4:30 – 6:30 PM

Timberlake Lodge
144 SE 17th Street
Grand Rapids

4:30 PM     Social Hour with live music
5:30 PM     Program: *Best of AwardsVolunteer of the Year recognition, and highlights from the past year

The evening will get underway with a networking social hour that will include live music, hors d’ouevres, and a cash bar, followed by the “Best of” Awards and Volunteer of the Year Award and a program reflecting on highlights from the past year.

General Admission: Free

Preferred Table Seating: $250
Table Sponsor package includes one (1) reserved table of 6 with preferred seating, table service, recognition at the event, and one (1) reserved table of 6 at the post-Celebration Community Concert at Rapids Brewing Co. (party must be seated by 7:30 p.m.).

Event Sponsor: $500
Corporate Sponsor package includes one (1) reserved table of 6 with preferred seating, table service, company name on all promotional materials, inclusion of Company brand on the event program and/or signage, name mention at event, and recognition on United Way of 1000 Lakes’ website with your logo and a link to your website.

2023 Best of Awards categories coming soon

Each year, United Way recognizes organizations and individuals who have changed Itasca-area lives through workplace giving, volunteering, and advocacy.

2022 Best of Award Winners

Best Ambassador: Angie Tanner
Our Best Ambassador Award honors an individual who utilizes their experience with United Way to develop in the area of connecting, building skills, and volunteering to advance their own lives, their company, and the greater community.

Best Coordinator/Team of the Year: Itasca County
This award honors an individual or team who led their workplace to a successful campaign through goal-setting and statically implementing campaign best practices to reach goals. This individual or team educated and energized staff, led a campaign committee, worked with and mobilized senior leaders, and is passionate about turning around the stories of those most in need in our community.

Best Trailblazer: Minnesota Diversified Industries (MDI)
The Best Trailblazer Award honors a company/organization that demonstrates increased achievement in employee education, engagement, and involvement with United Way.

Everyday Hero Award: Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital
The Everyday Hero Award honors an individual or organization that went above and beyond for others in our community during COVID-19.

2021 Best of Award Winners

Best Campaign Climber: Itasca County
The Campaign Climber Award goes to an organization with a history of giving through workplace campaigns. Itasca County’s employees have contributed, hosting company events to celebrate giving back and having numerous staff members donate portions of their paychecks to invest back into the community. Last year, employee giving at Itasca County exceeded that of recent years and even surpassed the organization’s goal.

Best Virtual Employee Engagement: Lake Country Power
With many workplaces going virtual or hybrid during the pandemic, employee campaign coordinators (individuals who help mobilize employee giving) had to be creative and find ways to unite employees from afar. The Best Virtual Employee Engagement award, new in 2021, honors Lake Country Power for showing innovation in engaging their employees virtually.

Community Spirit Award: Klockow Brewing Company
The Community Spirit Award honors an organization that made a substantial impact in the community through United Way in response to COVID-19. Klockow Brewing Company, in a time of difficulty for small businesses, stood up to support the community that supported them by implementing an initiative that donated a portion of beverage sales to local nonprofit organizations.

Day of Action Award: City of Coleraine
Each summer, United Way brings together volunteers to complete outreach and community revitalization projects in Itasca-area communities. This Day of Action Award recognizes the City of Coleraine for the instrumental role they played in operating summer 2020’s ‘Days of Action.’

Everyday Hero Award: I.S.D. 318
The Everyday Hero Award honors an individual or group that went above and beyond in their commitment to United Way and taking care of our community during COVID-19. During a year that educators and school staffers faced uncertainty, I.S.D. 318’s staff came through to support their community, with more employees than ever investing in their community through United Way.

Local Love in Action: Mann’s Cinema 8
Mann’s Cinema 8 in Grand Rapids joined Mann’s Theatres across the state in giving back through an adapted business model. Since they couldn’t show movies in the theatre, the local cinema began offering curbside pickup for popcorn and other movie theatre treats. Mann’s Theatres donated a portion of sales to United Ways in Minnesota, raising over $11,000 for COVID-19 relief. In Itasca County, the cinema in Grand Rapids put their care for their community into action, donating $993 to the Itasca Area Community Response Fund.

Alan Anderberg | Itasca County Habitat for Humanity

Mary Troumbly | United Way Day of Action

Top Ten Most Generous

Our top 10 campaign partners are organizations that raised the most dollars in our 2020-2021 campaign through corporate and employee giving and special events. We thank them for their leadership and dedication to improving the lives of thousands of neighbors in our community.

Top Ten Most Generous Companies

Minnesota Power, a division of ALLETE, Inc.
Blandin Foundation
Itasca County
Klockow Brewing Company
Paul Bunyan Communications
ASV Holdings, Inc.
Lake Country Power
Park State Bank

Top Ten Most Generous Workplaces

Minnesota Power, a division of ALLETE, Inc.
ASV Holdings, Inc.
Minnesota Diversified Industries
Woodland Bank
Itasca County
Blandin Foundation
Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital
Lake Country Power

2022 Sponsors


Paul Bunyan Communications
Paul Bunyan Communications has the region’s largest and fastest all fiber optic network with over 5,500 square miles throughout most of Beltrami County and portions of Cass, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis Counties. The Cooperative provides Broadband High Speed Internet Service up to a Gigabit per second, digital and high definition television services, digital voice services and more. PBC is also Northern Minnesota’s Certified Apple Repair Center.

Essentia Health
Essentia Health is an integrated health system serving patients in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. With locations in Grand Rapids and Deer River, Essentia Health combines the strengths and talents of 14,100 employees, including more than 2,100 physicians and advanced practitioners, who serve our patients and communities through the mission of being called to make a healthy difference in people’s lives.

Timberlake Lodge Hotel & Restaurant
Timberlake Lodge™ is Grand Rapids’ premier full service hotel. A three-story craftsman style building with 84 unique and beautifully furnished guest rooms caters to the business traveler, couple on a getaway and vacationing family. Whatever you are looking for, our quality rooms coupled with the relaxing beauty of Northern Minnesota creates a restful experience.


ASV, a division of Yanmar Group, creates industry-leading compact track loaders and skid steers that improve the quality of life for our customers, have minimal impact on the environment they work on and deliver maximum value for the people who rely on us.

Park State Bank
Park State Bank has become one of the larger independently owned banks in Minnesota with over one billion dollars in combined assets and a history committed to serving clients and small businesses in Minnesota for over one hundred years. Founded in the Morgan Park neighborhood of Duluth in 1916 and recapitalized by new ownership in 2015, the bank has grown from two locations to now operating sixteen locations, and a successful mortgage division, all located in communities across Minnesota.

The United Way Community Celebration and Best of Awards is held each year to mark the conclusion of United Way’s annual fundraising season. The event highlights accomplishments of the past year, publicly recognizes companies for outstanding campaign achievements, honors outstanding campaign volunteers, and provides an opportunity to learn more about the impact your contributions are making in our community. Community business leaders, campaign volunteers, partner agency representatives, other volunteers, and local media outlets attend this event. Underwriting covers all costs of the event and allows community members to attend at no cost.

Event Sponsor


Recognition as an Event Sponsor
2 reserved tables of 6 with preferred seating
Company logo on all publicity materials of the event
Inclusion of Company logo on the event program and signage at the event
Name mention at event
Recognition on United Way of 1000 Lakes’ website with your logo and a link to your website

Corporate Sponsor


Recognition as a Corporate Sponsor
1 reserved table of 6 with preferred seating
Company name on all publicity materials of the event
Inclusion of Company name on the event program and signage at the event
Name mention at event
Recognition on United Way of 1000 Lakes’ website with your logo and a link to your website

Table Sponsor


1 reserved table of 6
Company name on event program
Name mention at event
Recognition on United Way of 1000 Lakes’ website


If you’re interested in sponsoring United Way’s Campaign Celebration or another event, email or call United Way at 218-999-7570.