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Bismarck-Mandan Women Leaders Raise Over $25,000 for Community

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BISMARCK – May 9 was a “Day of Giving” for participants of Center for Technology & Business (CTB)’s Women’s Leadership Program (WLP). Armed with $100 in seed money each, this group of 21 women was tasked to grow the funds in a philanthropic project of their choice for the Bismarck-Mandan community. They broke off into smaller teams and had six weeks to find a cause and determine the best way to give back.

On May 9, the groups headed out to deliver their surprise donations to a variety of organizations. Recipients included Tracy’s Sanctuary House, Abused Adult Resource Center, Bismarck Public Schools and Jeanette Myrhe Elementary School, Ministry on the Margins, Theo Art School, BIO Girls, Invisible Innocence, Dreams in Motion, Heaven’s Helpers Soup Café and Central Dakota Forensic Nurse Examiners. In total, the groups gave $25,170.42 in cash donations and in-kind contributions to area organizations.

With a variety of causes and individual skillsets, each team took a different approach using their own unique methods to pay it forward in the community. From a Cinco de Mayo celebration and raffle tickets to plant sales and partnerships with local restaurants, each project brought awareness and much needed financial support to local organizations and those they serve.

Tammy Wall raised funds and collected used tablets to support Central Dakota Forensic Nurse Examiners, an organization whose mission is to provide professional, compassionate, and timely collection of forensic evidence for survivors of sexual assault or rape. The tablets will be used to distract children while being examined.

In addition to raising direct cash donations, Kimberly Miller and Kerri Kraft partnered with local greenhouse to grow and sell plants at area events to raise money for Heaven’s Helpers Soup Café. The funds will be used to purchase an ice machine that will provide the means necessary to keep fresh produce cool on their new salad bar.

Jeanette Myhre Elementary School and Bismarck Public Schools received both in-kind and monetary donations thanks to the efforts of Beverly Unrath and Kirsten Heid. The pair raised $500 per classroom to equip each room with sensory tools. Teachers then decided $50 from each class will be used to give the students an opportunity to grow the funds and pay-it-forward.

“Since 2012, the Women’s Leadership Program has raised nearly $270,000 of cash and in-kind donations for organizations across the state. I’m extremely proud and impressed with what the women are able to do for their communities in such a short amount of time.” Stated Deidre Hillman, Program Director of North Dakota Women’s Business Center (ND WBC), a program of CTB. “The ripple effect each project has is inspiring year-after-year. Beverly and Kirsten’s work with Jeanette Myhre Elementary School is a perfect example. Because of their involvement, the students now have an opportunity to pay-it-forward.”

The Women’s Leadership Program is a six-month program dedicated to expanding the professional, personal, community, and health leadership skills for women of all ages. The program will wrap up with a luncheon and graduation ceremony on June 14, at the Baymont Inn & Suites in Mandan. The public is invited to attend and can purchase tickets to the luncheon at or call 701-223-0707.

Center for Technology & Business (CTB) operates the North Dakota Women’s Business Center (ND WBC), which is part of a national network of more than 100 centers offering one-on-one business counseling, training, networking, workshops, technical assistance, and mentoring to women entrepreneurs on many business development topics, including but not limited to business startup, financial management, marketing, and procurement. Specific ND WBC programming opportunities include the Women’s Leadership Program, the Women’s Business Summit, the North Dakota Woman Owned Business Certification, and the North Dakota Leading Ladies Luncheons.