A large contribution from Exmark will help support a variety of nonprofit groups this year.

The mower manufacturing company recently presented Gage County United Way with a check for $76,351.73.

Misty Gibson, administrative coordinator with Gage County United Way, said Exmark employees Rod Benson, Laurie Leners, Dave Berkler, Dave Rayburn, and Exmark general manager Daryn Walters were instrumental in leading the fundraising efforts that made the contribution possible.

Gibson said Exmark raised the funds in a variety of ways, including a golf tournament. They also sold ice cream to company employees last summer with proceeds going toward the United Way, while some workers opted for a payroll deduction option to donate.

In addition to the funds raised locally, Exmark’s parent company, Toro, contributed $20,000 to the cause.

The United Way is a nonprofit group that supports other area organizations in need by providing them with financial support.

“Gage County United Way is a nonprofit organization that helps businesses or nonprofits here in town,” Gibson said. “We help them with their funding and depending on the agency, we fund what they need to keep their nonprofit going. All the money stays here in Gage County.”

Rayburn, who has served as the past chairman of Gage County United Way in addition to working at Exmark, added the company has done raffles, sells Exmark clothing and other activities to raise funds for the group.

“We believe that we’re good shareholders in the community and we hope we’re providing the needs for the community,” he said. “It’s a really nice feeling that our employees want to help others in the community that are less fortunate.”

Rayburn said Exmark first began raising funds for Gage County United Way in 2008 when it raised $16,000. This year’s contribution of more than $76,000 is its largest to date, and is around $1,500 more than last year.

The donation accounts for more than half of Gage County United Way’s annual budget, Gibson said.

“It is extremely important and every employee is willing to donate,” she said. “I think they all go above and beyond to keep us going, which helps the agencies keep going.”

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