Annual Christmas Tree Fundraiser

More than $21,000 was distributed to 15 local nonprofits asa result of the ninth annual Watertown Area Community Foundation Christmas TreeFundraiser. All 15 participating non-profits met their match goal of $300.

The Mellette House was the top fundraiser with $7,685raised. The Foundation’s match of $300 and the $500 Foundation grant for mostdonations brought the Mellette House’s grand total to: $8,485. Second place went to East-Central CASA with $1,296 and Watertown Area PACH with $985, both before the $300 Foundation match.

“The fundraiser is amazing for all of us,” said Terri Mielitz, CASA director. “The people came out and really supported all of us. We have a very generous community.”

“We’re certainly happy to live in this community,” agreed Jenni Wirkus, PACH board member.

The event aims to bring awareness as well as monetary support for each organization. Other participants this year included: 4 The Kids, Boys & Girls Club of Watertown, Brothers & Sisters Behind Bars, Codington County 4-H, Codington County Heritage Museum, Community Transit of Watertown-Sisseton, Inc; Lake Area Child Protection Team, Lake Area Zoological Society, Northern Prairie Arts/NE Artist Network, Prairie Lakes Healthcare Foundation, Watertown Area Special Olympics and the Watertown Regional Library.

“These unrestricted dollars couldn’t come at a better time for the nonprofits,” said Jan DeBerg, WACF executive director. “As 2022 unfolds, unexpected expenses arise. These dollars can help whether for a planned expense or not.”

Prudy Calvin, Mellette Memorial Association president, couldn’t agree more. “Another beauty of this fundraiser is that the dollars raised are not for something specific, but can be used for anything thenonprofit needs – including general operating expenses.”

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