For the 14th year, United Way of Olmsted County’s Power of the Purse fundraising event was presented on June 11, 2019 at the International Event Center with a sellout of 650 attendees. This annual event, presented by United Way’s Women United, raised proceeds for programs that help children and youth in our community reach their potential by preparing them for success in school.
The ever, popular silent purse auction opened the event. During the luncheon and program, keynote speaker Sue Klebold told her personal story of living in the aftermath of tragedy.
Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two gunmen responsible for the Columbine High School shootings in 1999 in Littleton, Colorado. Her search for understanding spans over fifteen years of volunteering with suicide-prevention organizations, questioning experts, talking with fellow survivors of loss, and examining the crucial intersection between mental-health problems and violence. As a result, Sue Klebold emerged a passionate advocate, dedicated to the advancement of mental-health awareness and intervention for youth.
Her story brought awareness to issues often left in the shadows. Klebold said the heartache never goes away. She related that in the immediate aftermath of such a “terrible and traumatic” event, it was hard to imagine having a life again. Klebold related that, “You are so beaten down. You take it one step at a time. Eventually, over time, your sense of isolation lessens little by little.” “You change from victimhood to survivor hood, and at that point, you begin to try to help other people.” Klebold said.
With this year’s Power of the Purse focus on mental health awareness, United Way is helping shed light on mental health awareness and the community partnerships that provide mental health services for children and youth and their families.
7% of Olmsted County youth have been diagnosed with depression (2016 Community Health Needs Assessment). Students in Olmsted County who experience higher levels of trauma are six times more likely to consider suicide, commit self-harm, and have mental health issues (ACS/MSS)
The Power of the Purse event is just one way to provide support for community impact partners and programs. Imagination Library books, school backpacks and supply kits, quality childcare opportunities, mental health access and mentorships are some of the ways that the proceeds raised this year will be reaching children and youth in our community.
1 in 3 Olmsted County adults has experienced a mental health issue in their lifetime. Most people will experience a mental health crisis in their lifetimes. With this year’s Power of the Purse focus on mental health awareness, United Way is helping shed light on mental health awareness and the community partnerships that provide mental health services.
Thank you to everyone who had a role in planning, contributing to or attending this year’s Power of the Purse. Serving as the event chair was Lisett Comai-Legrand, Director of Marketing and Product Management at First Alliance Credit Union.
Photos from this year’s event are at https://tinyurl.com/y3mh538v
Thank you to ALL of our sponsors for Showing their Local Love and supporting United Way's mission and commitment to making Olmsted County a better place for ALL to live!
Live United Sponsor