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Minot Women Leaders Raise Over $4,000 for Community

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MINOT – May 12 was a “Day of Giving” for participants of the Center for Technology & Business Women’s Leadership Program. Armed with $100 in seed money each, this group of 12 women was challenged to grow the funds in a philanthropic project of their choice for the local Minot community. They broke off into smaller teams and had seven weeks to find a cause and determine the best way to give back. 

On May 12 the groups headed out to deliver their surprise donations to a variety of organizations.

With a variety of causes and individual skillsets, each team took a different approach and used their own unique methods to pay it forward in the community.

Lorena Starkey, Emily Berg and Stephanie Mortenson held a blanket and pillow collection drive for the Minot YWCA and Kayla Nelson and Rhonda Schneider took the opportunity to collect donations for the Souris Valley Animal Shelter.

Vickie McMullan and Robin Finneseth raised enough funds to feed about 100 people locally through the Salvation Army and received donated chicken from the Great Plains Food Bank, because they are able to purchase their meat at a reduced cost their dollars stretch farther to feed those in need.

Area restaurants joined the women’s efforts by hosting community impact nights and donating a portion of their profits for the evening to the philanthropic projects. Missy Fiest-Erickson, Sarah Bossie and Kelsey DesRoches partnered with Taco John’s to raise funds for the Trinity Health Foundation Guest House while Brittany Johnson and Lindsey Stenson joined forces with Pizza Ranch to raise funds for the Minot Habitat for Humanity.

Each project brought awareness and much needed financial support to local organizations and those they serve. In total, the groups gave $4,109.59 in cash donations and in-kind contributions to area organizations.

“Since 2012, the Women’s Leadership Program has raised over $200,000 of cash and in-kind donations for communities in North Dakota. 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 Deb Eslinger, executive director of Center for Technology & Business. “The project is introduced as a ‘philanthropy challenge’ and each of these women have met and exceeded the expectations of the challenge, they work on these projects with the passion and commitment of true leaders and are shining examples of what each of us can do when we’re willing to address a challenge head on.”

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 23. The public is invited 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.