Leadership Marshfield Group Project: United We Can

United Way of Marathon County, CommUNITY Fest 2018. Used with permission.

Leadership Marshfield Project

Throughout the next couple of weeks, OnFocus will take a deeper look at some of this year’s Leadership Marshfield projects.


Background: The purpose and objective of Leadership Marshfield is to identify current and potential leaders in the community and provide a training program that will enhance their ability to function as more effective leaders. They will be better equipped to face the issues, problems, and challenges that will determine our community’s future.

Leadership Marshfield is a program of the Marshfield Area Chamber Foundation supported by the Leadership Council, volunteers, Chamber staff, and a strong Alumni network.
MACCI’s first Leadership Class graduated in May 1993. The 2019 class was recruited in the summer of 2018. Members participate in a series of eight informative one-day programs and develop group projects designed to meet each individual’s interests and community needs.

The purpose of the community project is to provide participants with an additional educational experience beyond the monthly sessions. Participants select their projects after learning about opportunities confronting the community and according to their interests.


Project Name: United We Can

Team Members: Laura Kibbel, Marshfield Medical Center; Danielle Nystrom, ODC; Pete Fletty, Marshfield Fire and Rescue; Jamie Eilers, Pioneer Bank; Adrian Wheeler, Roehl Transport.

A canned food sculpture contest will be held during Dairyfest on June 1, a creative way to stock food pantry shelves at a time of year when supplies run low.

Part of a Leadership Marshfield group project called “United We Can,” a partnership with United Way, teams will assemble their food masterpieces beginning 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Spectators can donate food items to receive tickets for raffle baskets.

United Way of Marathon County

“The goal of this project is to provide canned goods to our community members in need during our summer months, a time of year the food pantries run very low,” said Pete Fletty, group member.

Even after big collection events like Rotary Winter Wonderland, it isn’t long before shelves become depleted. United Way partner program Soup or Socks assisted 1,189 households in 2018, an average of 99 households per month. Need increased by 46% increase from the year before.

Inspired by this need, the group decided to dedicate their project to helping stock the shelves.

“United Way in Marathon County has been doing the canned food sculpture contest for 10 years now and it has been very successful. We thought it would be a great opportunity to bring it to the Marshfield area,” said Jamie Eilers.

United Way of Marathon County

“Our project is unique because we are inviting our local businesses to participate in creating a canned sculpture during June Dairyfest in the parking lot of BMO Harris Bank,” said Danielle Nystrom. “People walking by can watch the development of the sculpture formations, vote on their favorite through monetary or canned good votes, and enter for a chance to win a raffle basket.”

Business unable to create a sculpture can still help out through monetary or gift basket donations. Participants from the community are also welcome to participate. Sculptures will be judged by categories such as Best in Show, Most Canned Goods, and Most Creative.

“This really is an excellent way to bring our community together for a great cause. All of money raised and canned goods purchased will go directly to United Way and their partner programs,” said Nystrom.

The group will continue to recruit participants into May. “The group is working out the logistics for those participating in the sculpture contest,” said Laura Kibbel. “We have made great progress and are confident the event will be very successful.”

Businesses interested in creating a canned sculpture during Dairyfest can contact Danielle Nystrom at [email protected]