Community Celebration
Celebrating 60 Years of Community Impact

For 60 years, United Way of 1000 Lakes has been honored to serve our inspiring community and connect people to possibility. We invite you to commemorate this milestone with us and celebrate decades of partnership with donors, partners, and supporters who have helped move our community forward since 1963.


Event Details

Thursday, May 25, 2023
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Timberlake Lodge, Grand Rapids

4:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception
Tour the decade lounges, assemble birthday kits for area children, and enjoy music by Adessa, Keith, & Koho from Adessa & The Beat, cocktails, and appetizers.

5:30 p.m. Program & Awards
Walk through our history with special guests to honor decades of partnership with donors, volunteers, businesses, and organizations.

General Admission: Free
Diamond: Presenting Sponsor: $2,000
Platinum: Cocktail Reception Sponsor: $1,000
Gold: Decade Lounge Sponsor: $500
Silver: Birthday Box Sponsor: $250

Help us commemorate our diamond anniversary by showing your support for our spring celebration. Learn more


2023 Best of Decades Honorees

In 2023, we will commemorate our 60th anniversary and celebrate decades of partnership with donors, partners, and supporters who have helped move our community forward since 1963.

Best of Awards will return in 2024 and 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

2023 Sponsors

Cocktail Reception Sponsor

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, the Timberlake’s quality rooms coupled with the relaxing beauty of Northern Minnesota create a restful experience. 

Event Photographer

Kayla Lee Photography + Design
Kayla Lee Photography & Design, is a trained historian and journalist who knows firsthand what is needed for authentic, objective documenting of life’s big events. It’s a personal history, and every moment matters. All the pieces, from the antique ring to the joyous laughs of the reception, become a beautiful puzzle of your life, love, and legacy that will be passed down from generation to generation.

Decade Lounge Sponsors

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 them.

Blandin Foundation
The Blandin Foundation is a private foundation based in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, with a mission to connect, fund, and advocate for ideas and people to inspire resourcefulness and move rural places forward. The Foundation’s vision is for rural Minnesota places that welcome diversity, address injustice, and embrace change to create a sustainable and equitable future.

Danielle Witherill, Edward Jones Financial Advisor
Edward Jones Financial Advisor Danielle Witherill works extensively in meeting the needs of individual investors by helping them map out long−term investment strategies. Whether it’s saving for retirement, budgeting for college education, establishing a steady flow of income, or building a legacy for loved ones, Witherill guides clients in strategies to help them achieve their goals.

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.

Grand Dental Center
Grand Dental Center offers complete dentistry services, from basic preventive care to the latest in cosmetic procedures and restorative dentistry. Patients can expect to be treated with care by a friendly and competent team, from the first call to each follow-up and recare visit.

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.

Diamond: Presenting Sponsor


The Diamond Sponsor will commemorate our diamond anniversary celebration. As the sole presenting sponsor, you can deliver the welcome remarks, be featured in all print and digital marketing, receive recognition on our website, and reserve seating for you and your guests (up to twelve).

Platinum: Cocktail Reception Sponsor


The Platinum Sponsor will underwrite our cocktail and networking hour, during which attendees will be welcomed, mingle, and tour the six decade lounges highlighting the history of United Way of 1000 Lakes. As the reception sponsor, you will be featured in all print and digital marketing, including recognition on our website, and reserve seating for you and your guests (up to eight).

Gold: Decade Lounge Sponsor


Gold Sponsors will support the evening’s interactive walk through the decades, celebrating the history of United Way in the community. As a Decade sponsor, you will be heavily featured at the event, with a consistent presence at one of six decade lounges, featured in print and digital marketing during the event, and reserve seating for you and your guests (up to six).

Silver: Birthday Box Sponsor


Birthday sponsors will underwrite the evening’s volunteer station, where attendees will create “party in a box” kits for children and families who may not otherwise celebrate their special day. Kits containing cake mix, frosting, and birthday candles will be distributed through local nonprofits, including pantries and food shelves. Birthday sponsors are recognized during the event and reserve seating for you and your guests (up to four).


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