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United Way will honor donors and volunteers on Jan. 28

The United Way of Hastings will honor its donors and volunteers and announce who is its favorite 2011 "Calendar Hero" during an evening of recognition from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday Jan. 28, at the Hastings Country Club, 2015 Westview Drive.

Social hour is from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. with donor, volunteer and 2011 Hastings Heroes recognition from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The annual business meeting will also be held. Live music, presented by local entertainers, will be provided from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The United Way of Hastings is based here and supports and helps people in this community, something it has been doing since 1964. It works to build partnerships to improve the lives of people in the community.

Agencies served and supported by the United Way of Hastings include 360 Communities (formerly Community Action Council), the Boy Scouts, Courage Center, DARTS, Hastings Family Service, Hastings Middle School Special Friends, Hastings Police Department Crime Prevention Unit, Hastings Area YMCA, Hastings Area Senior Center, Lifeworks Services, OASIS, ProAct. The money raised here stays here.

"The uncertainty of the current economic condition and focus around the government support of the financial sector and the impact on our local economy is headline news everyday," said United Way of Hastings Executive director Tara Donohue Weiss. "Prior to the bailout and constant news of the deteriorating economic condition, we citizens of Hastings have faced hardships and have turned to local service agencies that have supported our community for years.

"Our work at the United Way of Hastings is to support the safety net in Hastings. We also work to educate individuals and families to be proactive in an effort to reduce their reliance on the safety net."

Part of the effort, she said is the work being done to be a more literate community through such programs as the Imagination Library, the partnership with Early Childhood Family Education and local childcare providers. Hastings Reads is another program designed to bring a higher level of literacy to the community.

The 2011 "Hastings Heroes" calendar was an effort to have fun while also raising funds for those in need. The featured heroes were Hastings Police Chief Paul Schnell, Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt, Hastings Mayor Paul Hicks, Hastings dentist Steve Humbert, Hastings Public Works Supervisor Mark Peine, Hastings Middle School Principal Mark Zuzek, Hastings Family Service Executive Director Chris Koop, Hastings community activist Brian Schommer, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon coordinator Dean Markuson, Hastings community activist Doug Erickson, United Way of Hastings Executive Director Tara Donohue Weiss and Gobble Gait coordinator Mary Fasbender. Those who bought the calendar were able to vote for their favorite hero.

A limited number of calendars are available for $10 each and are available at the United Way office in downtown Hastings.

Reservations for the Jan. 28 social event can be made by calling 651-438-3337 or by email to mari@unitedway

More information about the United Way of Hastings is available at www.unitedway