The 2022 Federated Challenge raises a record-breaking $3.876 million for Big Brothers Big Sisters
July 26, 2022, Lori Dossett
The 2022 Federated Challenge raised a record-breaking $3,876,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters, during its 18th annual gala on Sunday, July 24. This year, 83 incredible businesses — 24 of which were first-time sponsors — and nearly 600 generous people attended the gala to support youth mentoring in Minnesota and throughout America.
“Those served by Big Brothers Big Sisters undoubtedly face challenges,” said Federated Insurance Chairman and Event Chair Jeff Fetters. “You, Federated Challenge family, create opportunities for them they could never imagine were possible.”
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”) — creating opportunities for our next generation. A portion of the donations are set aside 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.
“Imagine the Possibilities” was the theme for this year’s Federated Challenge, and it was evident in every part of the event. Master of Ceremonies Julie Rethemeier opened the evening by reminding everyone in attendance that in order to imagine the possibilities, they have to imagine what’s possible. “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,” said Rethemeier, vice president – director of Public Affairs and Advertising at Federated Insurance.
Following opening remarks, Jeff Fetters welcomed everyone to the event as he shared his and his late wife Marty’s reason for advocating for youth mentorship in our communities, and why they’re passionate about the Federated Challenge. “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 our gifts, our words, and the joy we share with them,” said Fetters.
Joining Jeff Fetters as hosts were two Littles in the program, Sky and Tayton. The event also featured legendary WCCO radio host, Dave Lee, and master auctioneer, Glen Fladeboe. Guests had the opportunity to mix and mingle and enjoy a custom, catered menu of food in the Saint Paul RiverCentre, while listening to American Idol finalist and international recording artist, Pia Toscano. The gala’s program also featured inspiring messages from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President and CEO, Artis Stevens; John Thomas, vice president of basketball development for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx; and Minnesota’s Big Sister of the Year Peggy Hansen. Also recognized during the event this year were Principal and Co-Founders of Bristol Development Group, Sam Yeager and Ashlyn Meneguzzi — they were this year’s Federated Challenge Honorees.
New this year, Federated Challenge attendees took to the links on Monday, July 25, at the world-renowned Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota — future site of the 2024 U.S. Amateur Championship and the 2029 Ryder Cup.
“This event continues to overwhelm me,” said Fetters. “Tonight, you once again proved that anything is possible. Together, we can ignite potential, change lives, and better our communities through positive mentor relationships. Imagine the possibilities of what your generosity has done and will do.”
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 eighteenth year, this event has raised more than $47 million for youth mentoring programs.
About Federated Challenge
The Federated Challenge® two-day gala and golf event is hosted by Jeff Fetters, Chairman of Federated Insurance. Jeff is a past member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America® Board of Directors. Federated Insurance offsets expenses so 100 percent of the money raised through the Federated Challenge goes directly to Big Brothers Big Sisters. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Federated Challenge Scholarship Program.