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Fargo Area Women Leaders Raise Over $18,000 for Community

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Fargo—November 1 marked the “Day of Giving” event for participants of Center for Technology & Business (CTB) Women’s Leadership Program (WLP) in the Greater Fargo area. Twenty women, each armed with $100 seed money, were challenged to grow funds during a six-week period in a philanthropic project for a local charity of their choice. The participants were encouraged to break into smaller teams to see how much of an impact they could make in their community. Each team featured different individual skillsets and utilized a variety of causes in their community by taking different approaches and using unique methods to pay it forward. On November 1, the groups ventured out to deliver the results of their projects, including cash and in-kind donations, to a variety of organizations.

Cullen Children’s Foundation, House of Everyday Learning, STAR Scholarship program at Trollwood Performing Arts, Legacy Children’s Foundation, Rape and Abuse Crisis Center, Ps and Qs, Dress for Success Red River Valley, Diamond in the Ruff, Emergency Food Pantry, and Homeward Animal Shelter were all recipients of cash and in-kind donations through the WLP philanthropy project.

Jo Carney and LaDonna Bannach raised donations for House of Everyday Learning, a non-profit whose mission is to help families reach their full potential within the community through individualized programing, group instruction, education, and support. With the donations the organization received, Bannach said it would scholarship twelve children into the program. Through Diana Carlsrud and Roxanne Saulsbury’s hard work, they raised over 500 pounds of food for the Emergency Food Pantry, whose greatest need is canned food and personal care products. The team of Joy Beeter and Rachel Perez created over 60 homemade cookie jars which they sold at a local craft fair to benefit the Cullen’s Children Foundation. Each project brought awareness and much needed support, financial and in-kind, to local organizations and to those whom they serve. In total, the groups were able to pay it forward to their communities by $18,258.79 in providing cash donations and in-kind contributions to area organizations.

“Since its inception in 2012, the Women’s Leadership Program has raised over $269,000 of cash and in-kind donations for communities in North Dakota. Our goal is to inspire participants to realize that giving back can be done in multiple ways and by working together they can accomplish a lot in a short period of time.” Stated Deb Eslinger, executive director of CTB.

 “The participants this year rose above the expectations and exceeded the goals they had originally envisioned. This project is not just about the tangibles or the cash funds, it’s about brining awareness to themselves, their class, and their inner circles about each cause. The ripple effect that will happen even after the “Day of Giving” is where the magic happens.” Added Deidre Hillman, Program Director of the North Dakota Women’s Business Center (NDWBC), a program of CTB.

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 December 13. The public is invited to attend and can purchase tickets to the luncheon at or call 701-223-0707.