The United Way of Northeastern South Dakota kicked off its annual Rails Club fundraising campaign at Engel Event Co. on Thursday, Aug. 24.
Donors who contribute $500 or more each year to the annual appeal become members of the Rails Club leadership giving group. Rails Club members generally account for more than 50% of the United Way’s total fundraising efforts in the region each year.
Rails Club chairpeople, Heath Johnson, Rob Keil, and Dawn Williams, announced a $400,000 goal just for the Rails Club this year. Johnson and Keil were on hand to make the announcement and invite those in attendance to contribute.
The crowd of about 90 area business people, along with representatives from the various partner agencies of The United Way, attended the kickoff. Last year, The United Way raised a record amount, totaling more than $780,000.
The annual campaign helps support 18 nonprofits in the region. United Way of Northeastern South Dakota Executive Director Aaron Schultz reported that the group added two new agencies, including K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library and East River Legal Services. He also announced that Brett and Laura Deibert will be heading up the general campaign this season.
The kickoff for United Way of Northeastern South Dakota’s general campaign is Sept. 7.