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The United Way of the Mark Twain Area works in the community to empower individuals to achieve their potential through education, financial stability, and healthy lives.
On Friday, April 21, three individuals and one couple in the community, who live out the mission and vision of the United Way within their own lives, will be honored at the United Way’s 2023 Evening of Philanthropy sponsored by Hannibal Regional Healthcare System and Benson Financial.
The event will be held at the Olive Branch event venue in Palmyra.
Honorees include, Ken Disselhorst, rural Hannibal, Philanthropic Individual; Mallory Sublette, Palmyra, Philanthropic Youth; Jimmy and Amber O’Donnell, Hannibal, Philanthropic Couple; and Linda Cook, Life-long Philanthropist.
Disselhorst has spent most of his life working to benefit ag and youth, his church and the community.
He helped the Lewis and Marion County Cattlemen start their student scholarship program and banquet in 2006, and has chaired that banquet for the past 18 years.
During that time, over $460,000 has been provided as college scholarships to over 200 students in Marion and Lewis counties who are furthering their education and have an interest in ag.
Disselhorst is very active in the local Great River Tigers Chapter of the Mizzou Alumni Association. He has served on
the board since the chapter was formed 15 years ago and has served as both vice-president and president.
He is very involved in helping raise funds that the chapter presents as scholarships to Mizzou students in the Hannibal and Quincy area. The chapter has presented over $120,000 in scholarships to over 130 students during the past 15 years.
Three years ago, Disselhorst helped start and now coordinates the MO Beef program in schools in Marion and Lewis counties. Through this program, local beef producers donate cattle to be slaughtered and used as local beef to be fed to students in the schools.
In addition to this service, Disselhorst is the announcer for all home Palmyra R-I basketball games, is active on the Flower Children Relay for Life Team, frequently cooks hundreds of steaks for numerous local causes, co-chairs the Palmyra Young Farmers Truck and Tractor Pull during the Marion County Fair and more.
The Philanthropic Individual Award is sponsored by Brad Kurz, Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
Sublette’s values of promoting health in others and being philanthropic were present at a young age. When she was just 12 years old, she began a 5K fundraiser to raise dollars for the Children’s Miracle Network and Palmyra Parks and Recreation.
Much of the philanthropic work Sublette, who is now 18 has done, surrounds promoting fitness and health – and encouraging people to take control of their health.
Sublette began a ‘Faith & Fitness 4 Kids’ through the Palmyra United Methodist Church where she facilitated physical activities for young children and offered encouragement to improve wellness.
Having a passion for health, she launched a “Wellness 360” social, emotional and physical wellness program that promotes the concept that in order to do well, we must be well!
Sublette has traveled to schools across the state and spoken at many clubs and at events sharing this initiative.
Additionally, she created a platform of “Drop and Give me 20” encouraging young people and adults to put down their cell phones and other tech devices for 20 minutes per day to exercise.
With the Audrain County Health Department, Sublette hosts, “Be Well with Mallory,” a weekly video series promoting various health and wellness topics.
Currently she is Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen.
The Philanthropic Youth Award is sponsored by Northeast Power.
The O’Donnell name goes side by side with service, selflessness and humility in our community. Through the professional work of the O’Donnell Family, many in our community have been comforted when losing a loved one.
Jimmy and Amber O’Donnell have brought the values of the O’Donnell family outside the walls of their well-known business and invested their time, talents and treasures into causes that are close to their heart.
The O’Donnell family has sponsored many youth sports for years. There are countless jerseys with the O’Donnell name on them as the sponsor. Beyond the financial investment in these youth sport programs, together the O’Donnels also give of their time.
Jimmy can be found on Saturday mornings coaching YMCA youth league basketball and soccer. Amber coaches junior mud volleyball teams. The prosperity of young athletes is their passion. Their gifts have ensured that youth sports through the Hannibal YMCA are able to flourish.
Additionally the couple is active in Holy Family Catholic Church and Holy Family School. They have served on numerous boards of local non-profit organizations and done great things to improve our community.
The Philanthropic Couple Award is sponsored by F&M Bank and Trust.
Cook has dedicated her life to serve the people who need the most in our community. She spent over 40 years working for Children’s Division through the Department of Social Services. She has served on the Salvation Army Advisory Board and Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors for over 30 years.
Through Habitat for Humanity, Cook chairs the family selection committee and is tasked with helping select a partner family for each Habitat home.
For the Salvation Army, she can frequently be found ringing a bell or completing paperwork behind the scenes to increase efficiency or make sure a need is taken care of.
Cook is involved at Immanuel Baptist Church. She delivers meals and writes cards regularly to those in our community she believes may be lonely.
She consistently works behind the scenes to ensure individuals with the greatest needs have resources available to assist them. Through her service with these organizations, she has worked to transform lives and make our community better.
The Life-Long Philanthropist Award is sponsored by Commerce Bank.
Join the United Way at the Evening of Philanthropy to celebrate these individuals on Friday, April 21. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with dinner served at 7:15 p.m. Videos showcasing the work of the honorees will be produced by Communication Students at Hannibal LaGrange. Tickets can be purchased by calling the United Way office at 573-221-2761 or online at http://unitedwaymta.org/events.