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United Way holds contest to combat hunger

As part of its 2011 campaign, United Way St. Croix Valley will hold a contest to support the organization's goal of ending hunger in the St. Croix Valley.

The contest, "United We Can," will feature organizations and businesses building sculptures of nonperishable food, paper products and personal care items to compete for prizes in categories such as "Most Creative" and "Best Promotion of Your Business or School."

The competition will run throughout the month of October. Organizations must register with United Way by Friday, Sept. 30, and have all of October to complete their sculpture.

To further encourage community participation, there will be an online vote for the "People's Choice" award in the beginning of November.

Last year, the contest engaged a variety of organizations from schools to businesses to clubs. More than 3,500 food, paper and personal care items were donated to food pantries throughout the area at the close of the contest.

"We had great participation last year and the food really helped local pantries stock their shelves," said UWSCV Executive Director John Coughlin. "The contest is a fun way for organizations to lend a hand to their neighbors who need help putting food on the table."

United Way's 2011 campaign will run Monday, Sept. 12, through Friday, Nov. 18. The annual campaign will fund United Way initiatives and about 70 local agency programs serving Pierce, Polk and St. Croix County residents.

To sign up for United We Can, visit For more information on this year's campaign, call Linda Lia at 715-377-0203, ext. 105, or send an email to