Annual fundraiser brings together donors, families

An organization dedicated to helping disabled people integrate into the community held its annual fundraising dinner Thursday to bring its sponsors together and show how their money has helped.

The Night for LifeWorks, which was put on by the LifeWorks Charitable Foundation, was held at the Fort Museum Opera House.

Teresa Naughton, executive director of LifeWorks Community Services, said the fundraiser is very important for the organization.

“Government funding for this is not enough,” Naughton said. “The foundation is instrumental for those costs to be covered.”

The money raised by the foundation goes into an endowment, according to Naughton.

“It creates a legacy for the people it will serve in the future,” she said.

Among the people served by LifeWorks are the Sersland family, of Fort Dodge. John and Mary Sersland spoke at the fundraiser about how LifeWorks’ money has supported their son, Peter Sersland.

“He has a job to go to and he’s got a place of his own,” Mary Sersland said. “He’s able to make his own choices and has his own responsibilities appropriate to his abilities.”

John Sersland agreed.

“LifeWorks’ structure, supervision and care works with someone who has special needs,” he said. “It really helps Peter be able to enjoy life. It’s really a home for our son.”

Bob Singer, a member of the LifeWorks Community Services board and a Webster County supervisor, said events such as Thursday’s fundraiser help stress the importance of the organization.

“This is a great way of getting that message out,” Singer said. “LifeWorks is a rather quiet nonprofit in the community that provides vital occupation opportunities for the physically and mentally challenged. It also provides residence for its clients.”

Naughton said she expected the night, which included a silent auction, to be beneficial for LifeWorks.

“We think this will be a great time,” she said. “It’s all for a great cause.”