PACO Holds Pierre Area Philanthropy Luncheon on Wednesday

PACO Award Winners


PIERRE, S.D. -(DRG News) Wednesday brought the Pierre Area Philanthropy Luncheon to the Ramkota. The event is organized by the Pierre Area Charitable Organization and honored recipients of awards including Outstanding Volunteer, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, Outstanding Youth Volunteer and Outstanding Philanthropist-along with people who were recognized under the “Good People, Good Causes” category. A Special Recognition was given to Cathie Mercer, who retired last week after working at Pierre Area Referral Service for more than 15 years. The Outstanding Volunteer award was given to Dorene Foster. This year’s Outstanding Fundraiser was Fran Keller, the Outstanding Youth Volunteer was Jasmin Fosheim and the Outstanding Philanthropist award was given to Mark and Linda Swendsen. Mary Gates, who is the outgoing President for PACO, says picking the recipients of the awards each year isn’t easy.

Gates says the awards have been handed out for the past 15 years and honors those who work to make this area great. She says those who volunteer need to be recognized because so many organizations depend on their support. Gates says PACO is an organization that promotes philanthropy and charitable giving; plus they network and share information and educate local charities on fundraising rules and other procedures.

Award recipients received a piece of framed artwork-made possible from a donation from the SD Community Foundation and SD Historical Society Foundation. There were two different images-one of the bridge between Pierre and Fort Pierre and the other of the Capitol Building. Fosheim was given a cash award. All Good People Good Causes awardees were given a certificate. Those noted for Good People, Good Causes were Lynell Asher, Patrick Callahan, Jessica Chalcraft, Senator Bob Gray, Karen Hasek, Lilla Mae Hunsley, Mansour and Ruth Karim, Katie Lehrkamp, Jack Maher, Cindy Meyer, Curt and Kim Mortenson, Trista Olsen, Doris Powell, James Russell, Matthew Smart, Wallace Thomsen, Janelle Toman, Larry and Colleen Weiss and several volunteer robotics coaches were nominated by the SD Discovery Center-Jon Becker, Scott Darnall, Travis Frost, Brian Hemmelman, Nancy Ketteler, Lisa Rae, Brad Remmich, Carla Remmich, Carolyn Ryckman and Brian Wieczorek. (Photos below courtesy of Karla Kendrick and Diane Deis).

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