Federated Insurance has done it again. The 2022 Federated Challenge fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters set another record by raising nearly $4 million at its recent gala. The event, in its 18th year, brought together over 80 businesses and about 600 people to support youth mentoring around Minnesota and the country.

In a press release, Federated Insurance announced $3,876,000 was raised this year, bringing the overall total to more than $47 million over the life of the fundraiser. Two dozen first-time businesses contributed to the effort.

Challenge CEO and Federated Insurance Chairman Jeff Fetters said, "You demonstrate your love for people by how much you care...tonight, we will put our nation's youth first, learn their stories, and show our support through gifts, our words, and the joy we share with them."

All money raised goes to Big Brothers Big Sisters, supporting Minnesota's chapters and the national affiliation. The news release points out, "These organizations are creating one-to-one mentoring relationships between adult volunteers ('Bigs') and children ('Littles') - creating opportunities for our next generation."

A portion of the money is directed to a scholarship program to Littles and high school Bigs for non-four-year programs focused on "apprenticeship, certificate, trade school, technical, or community college."

Gala master of ceremonies and Director of Public Affairs and Advertising at Federated Insurance Julie Rethemeier opened the July 24 festivities by saying, "We all need someone who speaks truth and life into us...someone who sees things in us that are bigger than we can see ourselves. Someone to be Big for us."

The photo shows Jackie Johnson, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MN Executive Director; Michelle Redman, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern MN; Patrick Sukhum, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Cities; Jeff Fetters, Federated Challenge CEO; Artis Stevens, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President and CEO; Sky, Federated Challenge co-host and former Little; Tayton, former Little and Federated Challenge co-host.

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I always enjoy looking at unique places to stay and typically I find them on Airbnb. This place up in northern Minnesota called AirB-n-BAWK gives you the chance to spend the night right next to the chickens on the farm and you can help with farm chores. There are two different homes you can stay in here called The Nest and The Perch.

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