August 22, 2011

Tara Donohue Weiss/(651)-438-3337

United Way of Hastings Campaign Kickoff September 2 with Special Appearances by Ben Utecht and Goldy Gopher

(HASTINGS, MN)  The United Way of Hastings (UWH) annual campaign kickoff will be held on Friday, September 2.  The kickoff coincides with the Hastings Raiders first home football game.  The entire community comes out for this fun tradition of kicking off the UWH annual giving campaign and kicking off the Raiders football season at Historic Todd Field located in the center of Hastings. 

To help kickoff the fun, there will be a special appearance by 2006 Super Bowl Champion, recording artist, and Hastings native – Ben Utecht.  Ben will be on hand for autographs and promotion of his new album.

"We are so excited to once again kickoff our annual giving campaign at the Raiders first home football game,” said Tara Donohue Weiss, Executive Director.  “Some of our excitement is due to our very own Hastings native, Ben Utecht, coming back to join us in the festivities as well as sing the National Anthem," said Donohue Weiss. 

Ben Utecht was a three-sport athlete as well as excelled in music while at Hastings High School.  After high school, Ben pursued college football and played at the University of Minnesota prior to being drafted by the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.  During his time with the Colts, he won a Super Bowl ring. 

Ben’s priorities have now changed to music – his first album debuted a couple years ago and now a new CD release is scheduled for October.  Ben intends to have advance copies of his new CD available on September 2 at the kickoff.  In addition, Goldy Gopher from the University of Minnesota will help kickoff the UWH campaign and be on hand for pictures.  Local businesses joined efforts and sponsored Goldy Gopher’s visit to Hastings: Green Mill, Gordy’s Premier Auto Glass, James Langenfeld Constr., Mike Slavik Keystone Realty, Power Within Chiropractic, Premium Electrical Services, Schommer Insurance.

Event highlights:
Historic Todd Field at McNamara Stadium – September 2, 2011

      Fun Begins @ 5:30 pm Tailgate Party – Food & Beverages Available
Autographs and Pictures with Ben Utecht and Goldy Gopher
United Way of Hastings On-Field Presentation
National Anthem by Ben Utecht
Game Kickoff @ 7 pm

The UWH is an independent United Way that has worked for nearly 50 years serving Hastings and the surrounding rural communities within School District 200.   Its mission is to build partnerships to improve the lives of people in our community.  Donations are accepted year-round.  For more information about the UWH, the agencies and programs it funds, and special events, visit



United Way of Hastings - PO Box 353 - Hastings, MN 55033-0353