Women United 2019 Power of the Purse Keynote Speaker


Each year 600 people come together to improve the lives of Olmsted County children and youth at United Way’s annual Power of the Purse event. Presented by United Way’s Women United, this fundraiser features a well-known keynote speaker, a popular silent purse auction, and a delicious luncheon with the goal of helping children and youth reach their potential. The Women United and Power of the Purse Distinguished Sponsor Bremer Bank are excited to announce Sue Klebold as the 2019 keynote speaker.

Sue Klebold

Jeannette Walls

Author: A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy

We are pleased to announce that the keynote speaker for the 2019 Power of the Purse will be Sue Klebold, author of the New York Times bestseller A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, and advocate for mental health.

Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two gunmen responsible for the Columbine High School shootings of April 20, 1999 in Littleton, Colorado. From her memoir, A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy (Crown, 2016), Sue is donating all author profits to organizations that promote mental wellness, brain research and suicide prevention.

Dylan and his friend killed twelve students and a teacher, and wounded more than twenty others before taking their own lives. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Ms. Klebold remained out of the public eye while struggling with devastating grief and humiliation.  Her search for understanding would span over fifteen years during which she volunteered for suicide prevention organizations, questioned experts, talked with fellow survivors of loss, and examined the crucial intersection between mental health problems and violence.  As a result of her exploration, Sue emerged a passionate advocate, dedicated to the advancement of mental health awareness and intervention.

She is a member of the National Loss and Healing Council of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and is a member of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Consumer-Survivor Subcommittee.  She has participated in presentations, co-chaired conferences at the state and national levels, and written about the experience of surviving a loved one’s murder-suicide.  Sue has a Master of Arts degree in Education from Cardinal Stritch University.  She was an instructor and administrator in the Colorado Community College System for over twenty years.

We look forward to another outstanding Power of the Purse event. Please mark your calendars to attend on June 11, 2019 at the Rochester International Event Center!


Power of the Purse 2019 Chair Lisett Comai-Legrand remarked, “Each year we are energized by this exciting event and are reminded there is still work to do.” Power of the Purse helps children and youth reach their potential by serving as a fundraiser for United Way’s work, which includes providing quality early childhood programming, connecting youth to caring mentors, developing children’s reading abilities, and supplying students with the necessary tools they need to succeed in the classroom. By preparing young children for school and ensuring Olmsted County youth are achieving important milestones, the community is contributing both to their future success and the future success of the entire community.

Save the date to attend Power of the Purse on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at the Rochester International Event Center. Thank you to our loyal sponsors for supporting this important community work. Businesses interested in sponsoring Power of the Purse should contact United Way of Olmsted County by calling (507) 287-2000.


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