United Way News

Keep up to date with the latest Watertown Area United Way news by following us on all social media channels listed.

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Latest Watertown Area United Way Updates:

2022-2023 Annual Campaign Kick Off Held September 6th at Montgomery's 

2022-2023 Campaign Kick Off Group Photo
2022-2023 Annual Campaign Kick Off at Montgomery's Furniture Store in Watertown, SD

On Tuesday, September 6th from 5:30pm to when Montgomery's Furniture closed United Way had a blast! The Watertown Area United Way kicked off the 2022-2023 Annual Campaign with over 30 agency representatives, Board members, business leaders, community members, Montgomery staff and even a special guest from the Bramble Park Zoo! Agencies present set up tables around the store for Kick Off attendees to learn more about their services while getting to network with other programs.

Our 2022-2023 Campaign Chairs Sean and Kristi Melmer, 2022 Board President Brock Asmussen and Executive Director Laura Hoiten all spoke to thank everyone in attendance, recognize board members, speak on the United Way mission and share testimonials on why they are involved with United Way. Joey Patek, Montgomery's Manager and United Way Board Member, helped broadcast the new campaign video on screen for attendees to enjoy. It has not been put to an official vote but based off crowd reactions the most favored scene in the video is when the two Melmer kids invite the community to give today and change tomorrow. See their shinning moment on screen here!

A huge thank you goes out to Montgomery's Furniture store for allowing United Way and our network to come in and use your beautiful store to host the Annual Campaign Kick Off, thank you so much!

Thank you to all the attendees and those who tuned in for the LIVE interviews on air with the Watertown Volunteer Center and Lake Area Zoological Society! Thank you to every agency present and those who set up table to help our community learn more about your impact!


To read the KXLG Good News story, please click here.

Before and after the event @KXLG radio

Nationwide Launch of New Suicide Prevention Lifeline Number 9-8-8


New Phone Number for Suicide Preventive Hotline 988

The Department of Social Services and 2-1-1 Helpline Center are excited to announce the launch of 9-8-8 is now available. The three digit number is accessible in multiple languages via text or call and via chat (English only).  Calling or texting 9-8-8 will connect people to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. On July 16, 2022 South Dakota will be able to use the new 9-8-8 number to be met with compassionate, accessible care and support available for anyone experiencing mental health–related distress. In South Dakota, the 988 Lifeline will be answered by the Helpline Center. People can use 988 if they are having thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crises, or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
The Lifeline works! Since the Helpline Center began answering the Lifeline in 2005, it has served as an invaluable resource, helping thousands of people overcome suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress every day. With the transition to 988, these life-saving services will be even easier to reach.

In preparation for the transition of the Lifeline to 988, the Helpline Center, the South Dakota Department of Social Services and partners from across the state in the public and private sectors are working together to provide guidance and resources to make the 988 transition easier.

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is coming to South Dakota. And there is tremendous need, given:

• In 2020, the U.S. had one death by suicide every 11 minutes.
• For people ages 10–34, suicide is a leading cause of death in South Dakota.
• In South Dakota, there were 84 drug related deaths in 2020.


To learn more please visit 988 – Helpline Center or About 988 — South Dakota Suicide Prevention (sdsuicideprevention.org)


Annual Campaign Wrap Up at Montgomery's 

On Wednesday, February 2 at 6 pm the 2020-2021 Campaign Wrap Up was held at Montgomery's Furniture store located at 1000 9th Avenue SE, Watertown, SD. This year's Campaign Chair Matt Lindgren with his two children announced the lucky 2021-2022 Winner of the $5,000 Room Makeover Sweepstakes. The WINER IS JESSICA GODFREY! , United Way Board of Directors, and United Way Agency Programs. KXLG will join United Way for the evening to broadcast Wrap Up LIVE on 99.1 FM.  The 2020-2021 Friends of United Way and Business Leaders will be announced for one of the titles listed below. If you are an agency representative or a campaign volunteer please rsvp by emailing director@watertownunitedway.org or call our office at (605) 886-5815. 

Largest Overall Contributor (Employee & Corporate Gifts Combined): First PREMIER Bank and PREMIER Bankcard

Largest Percent Increase in Employee Giving (Loaned Executive Division): NASCENT Technology

 Largest Percent Increase in Employee Giving (Business Division): Schoenbeck & Erickson Law 

Largest Percent Increase in Corporate Giving: Terex Utilities 

Top Five Largest Corporate Gifts: First PREMIER Bank and PREMIER Bankcard, Prairie Lakes Healthcare System, Terex Utilities, Watertown Ford Chrysler, and Miller Electric Manufacturing Co. 

2021-2022 Friends of the United Way: Montgomery's Furniture, Reliabank, First Bank & Trust, Spies Corporation, City of Watertown, Hy-Vee, ESCO/Stein Sign Display, KXLG Radio, Watertown Radio, Ashley Blais Photography, and Pixel Perfect Productions


Delta Dental Mobile

The Delta Dental Mobile came to Watertown June 6-17, 2022. Delta Dental served 106 children last year and provided over $91,000 in dental care at no cost to youth or for families! Thank you to the Watertown Regional Library for letting  the Delta Dental Mobile park for two full weeks in front of the school and for letting the dental hygienist use a room in the school for cleanings. Thanks to the amazing volunteer interpreters United Way can offer translating services at the Delta Dental bus each year. Without volunteers we would not be able to serve our primarily Spanish speaking families who are in need of dental care.

If you are interested in getting an appointment or on the waitlist for the next bus visit call our office at (605) 886-5815. 

The Delta Dental Mobile will come in September 2022 and June 2023. Call our office to get on the waitlist now at (605) 886-5815.