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Tracy Frank, Published March 24 2010

United Way marks successes

It was an emotional day for Judy Green as she talked about the past year’s successes for United Way of Cass-Clay during the organization’s annual meeting Tuesday.

Green’s last day as UWCC president is today. She was named president in March 2008.

Green resigned in February to become executive director of marketing for women’s services for Sanford Health-MeritCare, a job she begins April 1.

“Judy has done a fabulous job for us for the last couple of years,” said Mark Deraney of U.S. Bank, the 2009 board of trustees chairman. “We were so in awe of the leadership that she provided.”

Green talked about 2009 successes, including equipping 4,100 students with school supplies, and launching both a pilot program to help parents gauge the quality of child care facilities and an initiative to help increase graduation rates.

“Together, united we can inspire hope and create better opportunities for a wonderful tomorrow,” Green said.

She also talked about the United Way’s 2009 long-term flood recovery fund, which raised $200,000 from 250 individuals and businesses. The fund helped buy things like beds, water heaters, and building supplies for flood victims.

“All of these were unmet needs after FEMA and insurance claims,” Green said.

A Fargo couple who received some of the recovery funds talked about how much it meant to them.

Gordon and Wallyn Lee live in Oakport Township. In 2009, they were confident in the ring dike they built and the fact that their basement had never flooded. But floodwaters maneuvered under the sandbags so fast that their pumps couldn’t keep up, forcing them to evacuate their home, which sustained more than 60 percent damage, Gordon Lee said.

“All of a sudden, you have so many expenses coming that you didn’t really prepare for,” he said.

They said what kept them going is their faith, friends and family, and help from the United Way.

“To say United Way makes a difference is an understatement,” Wallyn Lee said.

Awards were also given out for the 2009 fundraising campaign. Gate City Bank won the Fredrick W. Donath Campaign Award of Excellence.

Tammy Miller of Border States Electric was named 2010 fundraising campaign chairwoman, and Jeff Slaby of Border States Electric was named 2010 board of trustees chairman.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526