August 2 is Rise's 45th anniversary! In our yearlong celebration, it's been a fun opportunity to look back through our history, track our growth and development, honor key players in our successes, and recognize many of the hard-working men and women we serve.
At Rise, we are all about pushing boundaries and unlocking possibilities for people who have disabilities as well as refugees and immigrants who are striving to be productive members of this community. To date, we estimate that we have assisted more than 25,000 people in our wide range of employment, housing, and personal growth programs.
It becomes quickly apparent that none of this would be possible without the valued partnerships we have forged over the years with Minnesota businesses, employers, landlords, policymakers, educators, financial institutions, foundations, other service-oriented agencies, as well as the many private citizens who support our mission in important ways.
Chet Tollefson, who still lives in Anoka, is the man credited with having the "impossible dream" idea of starting Rise in 1971. He wanted men and women, including his son Loring, to be able to get up every day and go to work - and be proud of their accomplishments. Chet fondly remembers that not one person he asked to join him in the monumental task of opening a nonprofit agency turned down his request for help.
That spirit of dedication, commitment, generosity, and activism is what makes Minnesota so great. Over the past four-plus decades, Rise has been able to carry out our critical endeavors only because others have been willing to step up, get involved, and support our mission.
We are proud of the efforts Rise's team of professionals make every day to ensure that the men and women we serve continue to prosper and live lives filled with pride and purpose.
So we will be celebrating Rise's 45th anniversary and thanking those who have helped make it all possible. We look forward to the next 45 years of working with you and appreciate your support.