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Fundraiser Embraces NFL Great

NFL great and best-selling author Tony Dungy will serve as the keynote speaker at the 22nd Salvation Army William Booth Society Dinner, May 19 at the Cox Business Center.

In 13 seasons as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dungy amassed a 148-79 overall record and reached the postseason an unprecedented 10 consecutive times. He became the first African-American coach to lead his team to a championship when his Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. As a player, Dungy won his first Super Bowl ring as a member of the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers; he is one of only three individuals to have won the Super Bowl as both a player and a head coach. Since retirement from coaching, Dungy has served as an analyst for NBC’s Football Night in America and was nominated for an Emmy award in his very first season as a television commentator.

On and off the field, Dungy is known for his leadership style emphasizing decency and respect and his priorities of faith and family. A committed Christian, Dungy is passionate about causes that include Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Prison Crusade Ministry, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Christian Athletes.

The William Booth Society Dinner, named for The Salvation Army’s founder, is the largest source of funding for outreach programs that include the Center of Hope homeless shelter, Christmas assistance, and the Boys & Girls Clubs. The theme of the May 19 dinner is “A Day in the Life of …” and will highlight the positive, life-changing difference The Salvation Army’s programs have made for so many in our community.

“We look forward to hosting Mr. Dungy as we come together to help those who desperately need our help,” says John Hewitt, event co-chair with his wife, Dede Hewitt. “The need is great, but as demonstrated by Mr. Dungy and our generous sponsors, through decency and respect for each other and a generous, giving heart, we can and do make a lasting difference.”

Past speakers for the dinner include: Paul Harvey, President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, Walter Cronkite, Jay Leno, Tim Russert, Steve Forbes, President Bill Clinton, Peyton Manning, and Bob Costas.

Committee members for the 2015 event include: Allison and Trey Biggs, Kerri and John Bowen, Sheila Buck, Charlotte and Wade Edmundson, Hannah and Trent Ekblad, Marallie and David Littlefield, Adrienne and Rusty McMurray, Ruth Libertus and Jeff Sanders, Susie and Jeff Stava, and Marci and Jason Turner.

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Study reveals Millennials are Charitable, Influential, & Eager to Connect Over a Cause

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Millennials – all 80 million of us – get a bad rap.

If you’re currently between the ages of 18-34, you’re a part of ‘Generation ME’ and collectively called lazy, narcissistic, and impatient. But other characteristics contradict these accusations to some degree: we’re also said to be open-minded, more supportive of equal rights, confident, upbeat, self-expressive, receptive to new ideas, and best of all – giving.

A study called The Millennial Impact reveals the “Me Generation” is actually extremely philanthropic. And this doesn’t include the “slacktivism” that exists on Facebook. But let’s be honest – it felt darn good to Like that dog photo and donate someone else’s money to rescue efforts.

Rather, we look outward rather than inward, relying on the influence of our peers when it comes to taking action. And once we’re inspired, the study reveals that we’ll go to great lengths to get family, friends and loved ones involved in our causes. Lazy? Selfish? Hardly!

In fact, millennials are compassionate and eager to commit their time, money and skills toward causes and organizations. The study revealed that 75% of millennials donated to charitable causes last year, while 63% gave time to volunteer. While millennials are more likely to donate in smaller amounts across several organizations, they are also apt to fundraise on behalf of nonprofits by soliciting support from friends and family. And when organizations offer volunteer opportunities with limited barriers to entry (remember, we’re impatient), millennials are most likely to give back through events or by freely offering their knowledge and expertise to their charity of choice.

Take The Salvation Army Twin Cities MOST Amazing Race for example, a fundraiser based off of the popular CBS show “Amazing Race,” where teams of two people run around the city making pit stops to complete various challenges. The goal of the race is to raise awareness and funds for The Salvation Army, and commitment and fundraising are prerequisites for competing.

In the end, 30 teams raised $72,921 for food and shelter programs of The Salvation Army through activities such as planking, Bollywood dancing, and plunging off a 25-foot-high platform. And you can be darn sure these events were well documented on participants’ Facebook and Instagram pages.

You often hear that good deeds are rooted in selfishness, and there may be a bit of truth to that, but that’s because giving back feels really, really good. And if you can brag about your good work on Instagram, filter and all, and maybe even inspire your friends to do the same, then what’s the problem?