The 2021 Federated Challenge® raised a record-breaking $3,316,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters®, during its 17th annual gala on Sunday, July 25. During this sweet reunion, a record 67 prominent businesses and more than 500 generous people attended the gala to support youth mentoring in Minnesota and throughout America.
“Last year was tough, but we delivered in a big way,” said Federated Insurance Chairman Jeff Fetters. “It was amazing to see everyone together, in person, rallying together for our nation’s youth. It was truly moving. Each and every donor and business showed their drive, personal commitment, and heart.”
One hundred percent of the money raised will be donated to Minnesota’s three Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America®. These organizations are creating powerful one-to-one mentoring relationships between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”) — protecting our next generation. A portion of the donations are earmarked for the Federated Challenge Scholarship Program which provides up to $5,000 per year to qualified Littles or high school Bigs enrolled in a non-four-year program focusing on apprenticeship, certificate, trade school, technical, or community college. Hundreds of students have benefited from this fund and are earning job-ready training degrees with little to no debt.
“This year’s theme, Stand by Me, was fitting,” said Fetters. “You could feel the energy in the room — everyone standing side by side, all in support of an organization that changes lives by creating strong bonds and long-lasting friendships. Because, that’s what our kids need — someone to continue to stand by them, so they are not alone.”
The gala – hosted by Co-chairs Jeff and Marty Fetters – featured retired WCCO veteran broadcaster, Dave Lee and long-time auctioneer, Glen Fladeboe. Guests were wined and dined, and dazzled by the musical stylings of up-and-coming singer-songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee, Jazz Davis. They also had the opportunity to hear powerful messages by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President and CEO Artis Stevens and former Little, Isaih Handy. Also recognized during the event was Sit Investment’s Chief Executive Officer Roger Sit. As a leading supporter of the annual event, Sit was recognized as this year’s Federated Challenge Honoree. On Monday, July 26, Federated Challenge attendees reconvened for a round of golf at the famed Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minnesota.
“Once again we were overwhelmed and humbled by everyone who supported the Federated Challenge and Big Brothers Big Sisters,” said Fetters. “Every individual that came was challenged to help lead change, and they succeeded. The funds we raised during this year’s event will have a direct and lasting impact on young people across the country and in our own backyards”
The Federated Challenge was founded in 2005 as a two-day fund-raising event hosted by Federated Insurance, a commercial insurance company headquartered in Owatonna, Minnesota. Now in its seventeenth year, this event has raised more than $44 million for youth mentoring programs.
About Federated Insurance
Founded in 1904, Federated Insurance is a national insurance and risk management organization that serves the property, casualty, and life insurance needs of clients in select industries. The organization has more than 500 recommendations from state, regional, and national associations and buying groups and is rated A+ (Superior) by industry analyst A.M. Best® Company.