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Bismarck/Mandan Women Leaders Raise over $30,000 for Community

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BISMARCK – April 26 was a “Day of Giving” for participants of Center for Technology & Business’ Women’s Leadership Program. Ten pairs of women were given $200 in seed money and challenged to grow the funds in a philanthropic project of their choice for the Bismarck and Mandan communities. The groups had just over a month to find a cause and determine the best way to give back.

On April 26 many of the groups headed out to deliver their surprise donations to a variety of organizations. Recipients included Abused Adult Resource Center, Bismarck Parks and Recreation, Great Plains Food Bank, Community Action, Carrie’s Kids, and YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. The groups gave $30,752.57 in cash donations and in-kind contributions to area organizations.

Shelle Aberle and Dorothy Lick were the top giving team, raising $10,796.00 worth of items for the Abused Adult Resource Center. The women were able to purchase four ByteSpeed computers, specially designed for rugged use by children at the center. They also donated an overwhelming amount of professional clothing for the Career Closet that provides work appropriate attire for women in need.

Kelly Jahner and Dr. Beth Holwegner were another top giving team, together they raised a total of $4159.80 in cash and food donates for the Backpack for Kids fund at Community Action. The program provides free weekend meals to school aged children in the Bismarck-Mandan area. As a result of their donation 500 families will receive meals for two weekends.

“These women went far and above our expectations for the challenge, raising more than triple from the previous year’s group and showing what strong community leaders they all are. I believe it is so important to give back and am very proud of the women for far surpassing our expectations going into this challenge,” stated Deb Eslinger, executive director of Center for Technology & Business.

The Women’s Leadership Program is an intense 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 13 with keynote speaker LaVonn Steiner, president of EXCEL Leadership in Bismarck. LaVonn’s speeches cause audiences to laugh, learn and leave inspired as she explores leadership lessons and the ripple effect we all create. The public is welcome to attend and can purchase tickets to the luncheon at or call 701-223-0707.

Center for Technology & Business serves as the women’s business center for North Dakota and grows North Dakota’s economy by helping small business owners succeed through training, technology and business development. Their programming develops leaders, builds rural communities and mentors women business owners.