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Club Newsletter September 21, 2022

Presenter: Jon Aga

Lakes Area United Way

A native of Nisswa and a Brainerd High School graduate, Jon Aga, today’s speaker is excited to return to the Lakes Area and understands from personal experience the caring power of our local community. Prior to joining the United Way, Jon served as Associate Director of Mental Health Services at Tasks Unlimited in Minneapolis, where he developed and led a number of mental health, housing, and homeless outreach programs throughout the Twin Cities metro area. Jon has his Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and his Bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College.


Our mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community.

We do this each day through the partnerships we have throughout the communities we serve. Whether they are our board members, partner agencies, or community members wanting to make a difference for their neighbors, the Lakes Area United Way provides opportunities for those who understand living in Crow Wing, Cass, and Aitkin Counties is about so much more than just living individual lives: it's about living as an interconnected community. It's about Living United.

Our partner agencies serve those in need by providing meals to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, and the basic needs families require to simply get by. We all have a stake in creating a healthy, prosperous community, and we are so proud to serve and partner with those in the Lakes Area.

With the Lakes Area United Way, your dollars stay right in our local community helping to mobilize our friends and neighbors to improve lives. Every time you give, you support our mission and make a difference in the lives of your neighbors. When we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. That's Living United.

Helping people is at the center of all we do. Everything we have ever done or ever will do will be centered on helping local individuals and families while addressing the needs in our community.

United Way’s work goes well beyond our historical role of funding strong, local, non-profit partners. Today we are leveraging our investments, resources, volunteers, and corporate partnerships to deliver transformative, measurable results.

Stated another way, United Way has undergone a dramatic shift in how we work to address needs in our community. From a historic community chest with a broad charitable mission, we have evolved into a critical community convener that mobilizes our partners, including businesses, community leaders, public officials, residents, and non-profit organizations.

In 2015 and beyond, our mission is to connect people to people, needs to resources, and experts to advocates to improve lives and advance the common good throughout Crow Wing, Cass, and Aitkin Counties. Every day we make this mission a reality by investing in the areas of Education, Financial Stability, and Health because we believe these are the building blocks for opportunity – individually and collectively and those building blocks lead to a good life. Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion We at the Lakes Area United Way strive to hold diversity, equity, and inclusion practices at the core of our daily work. We oppose and denounce racism and discrimination of any form, as well as the divisive stigmas and attitudes that they perpetuate. We instead embrace and celebrate the visible and invisible qualities that make each of us unique and bring vibrancy to our community.

We believe that each community member, donor, volunteer, advocate, and employee brings a unique perspective to improving the world around us, and must have an equal voice in solving community problems. We recognize that our neighbors in need often lack equal opportunity and access within the systems of health, education, and financial stability. We are committed to seeking community solutions that reduce these disparities and investing in efforts that promote equitable outcomes for all. Jon emphasized United Way is a group of small local nonprofits that partner together to create service plans for the people who need help. He complimented Sertomans for all being community supporters. He encouraged everyone to come to the Chili event and cheer on our judge, Joe Enge. He was proud of their mailed books with the Dolly Parton program, the Imagination Library. He explained the huge effect it has on his two-year-old. They have special programs for the visually impaired and encourage anyone who needs special books from this program to contact them. They encourage volunteers and donors to become part of their board. They are emphasizing helping with teeth and eyes that are not covered by most insurance. They have emergency food groups. They are looking for partnerships through all organizations. They even have a fun mobile app that spreads “things to do". "Generosity. They are starting a small business group. His favorite thing is the variety of his job.


  • Vision and Hearing Sep 27 and 29 sign up volunteers needed contact Nikki 8a.m. -11:30 slots

  • WW special tickets for Sertoma members who can hand them out to their customers and pay for only if redeemed.

  • Oct 5th is the United Way Cookoff so no Sertoma meeting. $10 admission. 11/23 12/28 are also not meeting dates.

  • Coats for Kids needs volunteers Oct 11-15 contact Kinship.

  • $100 tickets for the travel prize are still available. See Lori to support Habitat


YELLOW TICKET WINNER Lori Rubin picked her own

POT O GOLD Chuck Brenny donated to the golf fund


  • Jeremy got fined for being too soft hearted, Mary was back in form

  • Lisa got fined $2 for hand holding with her husband. She had a smart remark for the peanut gallery.

  • Nikki got fined for cold toes she refused to give up.

  • Kevin gave Reed advice and Reed got fined.

  • Karolyn got fined for wearing a dress.

  • A don’t keep your eggs all in one basket fine for Candice.

  • Corey and Pam F got fined for too much fun on FB. Pam F got fined for her trashy lady talk.

  • Theme Promoter Seve Mau got fined for his new job..

  • Diane was talking about throwing eggs at speakers.Poor Lori got fined for not introducing her speaker, he did it himself.

  • Pam S was happy she did not get “opened” watermelon gum from Kevin’s Motley High School employee. She is definitely allergic,. The kids in Loree’s class and others had lots of opportunities to try and make their English teacher miserable but .she knew immediately who had the gum. It was basically a lot of fun for them and they appreciated that they could be naughty and not get in serious trouble even if they chewed a whole pack and stuck it under her desk lol!!

  • The rookie attendees at the upcoming Sertoma Convention were all happy to be going.

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