Interlakes Area United Way
November 24, 2021: DownTown in MadTown, Bacon Bash raise money for shoe drive, non-profits

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Community events coordinated by the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce (GMACC) brought people together in fellowship and family-oriented fun. With help from Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW), the events continue to offer benefits long after they've concluded.

IAUW volunteered to manage beverage sales at this summer's DownTown in MadTown (DTMT) concert series and fall festival Bacon Bash. In return, they would receive a portion of the sales plus tips.

IAUW garnered more than $3,200 from the events. President Lori Gustaf said the money will serve towards their mission of improving the lives of people in Madison and the surrounding area.

Roughly half of the money will be added to IAUW's general fund, which supports all its partner agencies in Lake, Miner and Moody counties. The remaining was donated to a local shoe drive to support school-aged children.

Sarah Hock of Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership conducts an annual Back to School Shoes project on behalf of Salvation Army. Hock raised $7,000 in 2021 to provide new shoes to 145 children in 70 families. Children ranged in age from Jr. Kindergarten to 12th grade.

IAUW donated $1,500 to the project, which would serve roughly 30 children.

"The simple gift of new shoes can have a dramatic impact on a child in the best way. We are grateful for the support from United Way to help those in need in our community," Hock said.

This is the third year IAUW has teamed up with GMACC for the community events. Since 2018, the partnership has helped IAUW raise nearly $7,000.

"United Way leverages partnerships to raise funds for vital community service programs," Gustaf said. "We have found a terrific partner in the Madison chamber and appreciate their support immensely." 

IAUW is currently hosting its campaign drive for 2022. Partner agencies and funding recipients will be announced after the new year. The organization awarded over $107,000 to 27 non-profit partners in 2021.

Interlakes Area United Way managed beverage sales at community events coordinated by the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce in 2021. In return, GMACC donated a portion of the sales back to United Way. Pictured, GMACC Executive Director Eric Hortness, right, presents a check for $1,500 to IAUW Vice President Danielle Kearin, left, and President Lori Gustaf, center.