The Power of One

Models Emma, Grace and Carolyne wearing Stella Thomas designs for the benefit show at OSU. Photo by Maggie McKenney Photography.

By Katy Kassian

Recently a group of North Dakota businesses pulled together to make a difference in women’s lives.

The Oklahoma State University Chapter of the American Association of University Women hosted an “Evening of Arts and Entertainment” at the Conoco Phillips Alumni Center. The women of this chapter are focused on “breaking through barriers for women and girls in all aspects of life.”

This event generated funds to support two groups:

  1. military women, who along with their families, continue to selflessly serve and sacrifice. T he funds allocated to military women will be used to provide laptop computers, and
  2. providing funds for a program supported by the Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma, which helps single moms, continue their education.

One might wonder what the North Dakota connection is to this fundraiser.

Jeretta Horn-Nord, the co-advisor for the OSU AAUW, called her good friend Jo Khalifa of Westhope and asked her to be a participant. Jo has selflessly supported women’s causes for years. It is a part of who she is. Jo, in turn, put out a call for North Dakota businesses to donate either funds or items to the silent auction.

A number of Pride of Dakota (POD) companies stepped up to make donations. Each of these companies donated generously of their time and products. Some of these included a Marine jean quilt, original designed jewelry, soaps, fudge, and more

Each POD is its own company, independent of the others. Pride of Dakota is an overhead or umbrella designed to support entrepreneurs and small businesses through promotion, market access and education. It is it’s own company that supports the smaller businesses who become members with education, marketing advice, mentoring, and networking opportunities. But even though separate, they are a like-minded group. They are a community of caring people that believe in the power of dreams and empowerment of women. Together these companies made a significant contribution in the ability of the AAUW to fund these projects!

That’s the Power of One….Multiplied!

Here are the ND Pride of Dakota companies who participated:

  • Jo Khalifa – MoJo Roast (coffee roasters), Westhope
  • Kari Warburg Block- EarthKind (makers of earth friendly animal repellents), Bismarck
  • Linda Johnson – Home Sweet Home, (gifts and POD products), Minot
  • Nick and Patti Wagner – Wagner’s Wagon (kuchen, fudge, pecan pies), Mercer
  • Katy Kassian – Buffalo Gals Bakery (Biscotti and down-home feel good treats), Regan
  • Jenny Barwick – Country Made Creations (soaps), Hazen
  • Cindy Yale and Carla Preston – Mikey’s Country Candy (turtles, chocolates and more for over 23 years), Burlington
  • Allana Boppre – Ali B’s Original De-The Power of One signs Jewelry (premier jewelry designer), Bottineau
  • Jeff Beyer – Pride Dairy (last creamery in ND), Bottineau
  • Lori Mae Reynolds – Chocolatopia (chocolatiers and candy makers), Minot

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