2019 National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon

Post Photo for 2019 National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon

Posted: November 6, 2019

National Philanthropy Day is quickly approaching on Friday, November 15, 2019.

This is a day to recognize and pay tribute to the contributions that people and organizations have made to our lives, community, and our world.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals, Upper Mississippi Valley Chapter will be honoring the following individuals and organizations on November 15, 2019 at a luncheon to be held at the Lunda Center on the campus of Western Technical College from 11:30am to 1pm.

Honorees this year include:

  • Outstanding Philanthropists: Marilyn and Jeff Roverud of Decorah, IA
  • Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Kevin O’Reilly of Winona, MN
  • Outstanding Philanthropic Organization: Dahl Automotive
  • President’s Award: Rotary Works Foundation

See more information on the four recipients in the following pages.

The public is welcome to attend. Tickets for the luncheon are just $30, or a full table for eight can be purchased for $240 online.

Contacting Mary Kay Wolf (see below).



Outstanding Philanthropists
Jeff & Marilyn Roverud

“Service” and “community” have been constants in the lives of Jeff and Marilyn Roverud. They have shared their gifts and talents through individual efforts and as a team. Highlights of leadership for Jeff include serving on the Iowa Limestone Association Board of Directors for 14 years including service as president. He also served on the National Stone Association Board of Directors and was elected chair of that board, traveling the U.S. representing the stone industry. A two-time Paul Harris Fellow of the Decorah Rotary Club, Jeff joined other club members on a mission trip to Panama working on a clean water project for indigenous people.

Marilyn has served on the boards of Humanities Iowa, Lutheran Services of Iowa,  Decorah Community Schools Foundation, and the Greater Decorah Community Foundation, and on the candidacy committee of the Northeastern Iowa Synod of the ELCA. Serving Luther College as a member of the Board of Regents for 12 years, including eight years as secretary, has been a lifetime privilege.

Together the Roveruds have shared their philanthropic giving with their alma mater, Luther College, by establishing endowed student scholarships, endowed faculty fellowships, and sharing their leadership in numerous campaigns along with participation in the Luther College Annual Fund. Multiple community organizations and initiatives have been recipients of their support including Vesterheim NorwegianAmerican Museum, where they have sponsored the Syttende Mai celebration for 17 continuous years.

The Roveruds are the parents of two daughters—Kirsten Roverud Heine of Decorah, Iowa, and Suzanne Roverud Mineck of Waukee, Iowa. They are active, long-time members of First Lutheran Church in Decorah.



Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser
Kevin O’Reilly

Kevin O’Reilly from Winona, Minn., Vice President of Strategic Sourcing at Peerless Chain volunteers as an organizer for Winona ORC’s Annual Sponsorship drive.

He raises between $50K and $60K each year for those with disabilities seeking employment. Not only does Kevin volunteer to lead the sponsorship drive, he also manages the annual golf tournament committee, making sure the event is not only fun but rewarding as well. Kevin also volunteers his time coordinating and delivering meals to those in need through a partnership between Peerless Chain and Volunteer Services.

Kevin is a graduate of the Blandin Community Leadership Program; he was volunteer of the year in 2011 for the Winona Area United Way, and also served several years on the Winona ORC board as a member and President beginning in 2008. The hours of volunteer time spent by Kevin raising funds for Winona ORC is immeasurable. Winona ORC staff reflected on a recent conversation they had with Kevin’s wife, Sue. After complimenting her family on the outstanding volunteer work they do in the Winona Community, Sue shared their belief “to whom much is given, much is expected.” To this Winona ORC staff, that was a perfect way to describe Kevin and his commitment to Winona ORC and the community it serves.



Outstanding Philanthropic Organization
Dahl Automotive

Philanthropy has always been important to the Dahl Family, dating all the way back to 1911. In fact, one of Dahl Automotive’s Core Values is “Promote Giving Back to our Community”. Over the past 15 years the Dahl Family Foundation has awarded almost 70 grants totaling over $4.5 million.

One of the major fundraising events Dahl Automotive conducts occurs in September; the Dahl Automotive Lube-a-Thon. Through this fundraiser and other annual support, the company showed their dedication to a local non-profit. The event is run completely by volunteers; including Dahl team members, representatives from the benefiting charity, and family members of both organizations. With all of the supplies donated by many generous sponsors, 100% of the money raised goes directly to the non-profit.

Since the event’s inception over $150,000 has been raised.

President’s Award
Rotary Works Foundation, Inc.

The Rotary Works Foundation, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 organization sponsored by area Rotary Clubs that encourages Rotarians to enact the Rotary Four Way Test by financially supporting local and international charitable and educational activities. The Foundation grants over $25,000 per year to organizations in need.

The Rotary Club of La Crosse founded the Rotary Foundation in 1982 to provide a separate agency to award grants for local and international activities which fall under the criteria established.

In 2008, the foundation became a regional foundation and changed its name. Rotary Works Foundation is made up of the nine Rotary Clubs in the area — La Crosse Downtown, La Crosse East, La Crosse After Hours, Valley View, Onalaska, Onalaska Hilltopper, Holmen, Caledonia and La Crescent and is governed by a board made up of members from each of the clubs.

The efforts of the Rotary Works Foundation are supported in large part by the nine Rotary clubs and individual members of those clubs. Because of the large scope of many of the activities, the Foundation enthusiastically welcomes contributions and memorial gifts from people who share its commitment to improving the quality of life in the La Crosse area and the world.

AFP – Upper Mississippi Valley Chapter President, Rose Dobbs, selected The Rotary Works Foundation for the President’s Award because of her personal connection to Rotary. Rose was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in 1996, sponsored by La Crosse Downtown Club. Since that time she has held a special place in her heart for the work that Rotary does for the community and the world. Rose’s late father, Tom Reinert, was also very active in the La Crosse Downtown Club serving as president, a Paul Harris Fellow, and as an outbound coordinator for the Rotary Youth Exchange.

Mary Kay Wolf – AFP-WI, Upper Mississippi Valley Chapter
608.796.1400, ext. 102
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