Honorees announced for United Way Evening of Philanthropy on April 21

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Top row from left, Linda Cook, Mallory Sublette and Ken Disselhorst. Bottom row, the Jimmy and Amber O'Donnell family. | Photos courtesy of United Way

HANNIBAL, Mo. – Three people and one couple in Marion County who live out the mission and vision of the United Way of the Mark Twain Area within their own lives will be honored April 21 at the United Way’s Evening of Philanthropy, sponsored by Hannibal Regional Healthcare System and Benson Financial. The event will be at the Olive Branch in Palmyra.

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 University. Tickets can be bought by calling the United Way office at 573-221-2761 or online at http://unitedwaymta.org/events.

Philanthropic Individual: Ken Disselhorst of Hannibal

Disselhorst has spent most of his life working to benefit ag and youth, his church and the community. He helped the Lewis/Marion County Cattlemen start their student scholarship program and banquet in 2006. He has chaired that banquet for the past 18 years, and more than $460,000 has been raised for college scholarships to more than 200 students in Marion and Lewis County who have an interest in ag.

Disselhorst is 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 involved in helping raise funds the chapter presents as scholarships to Mizzou students in the Hannibal/Quincy area. The chapter has presented more than $120,000 in scholarships to more than 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. Local beef producers donate cattle to be slaughtered and used as local beef to be fed to students in the schools.

Disselhorst is the announcer for all home Palmyra basketball games, is active on the Flower Children Relay for Life Team, frequently cooks hundreds of steaks for numerous local causes, and co-chairs the Palmyra Young Farmers Truck and Tractor Pull during the Marion County Fair.

The Philanthropic Individual Award is sponsored by Brad Kurz, Edward Jones financial advisor.

Philanthropic Couple: Jimmy and Amber O’Donnell of Hannibal

The O’Donnell name goes side by side with service, selflessness and humility. Through the professional work of the O’Donnell family, many 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 funeral home business and invested their time, talents and treasures into causes close to their heart.

The O’Donnells have sponsored many youth sports for years. There are countless jerseys with the O’Donnell name on them as the sponsor. Jimmy and Amber 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 flourish.

The couple is active in Holy Family Catholic Church and Holy Family School. They have served on numerous boards of local non-profit organizations.

The Philanthropic Couple Award is sponsored by F&M Bank and Trust.

Life-Long Philanthropist: Linda Cook of Hannibal

Cook has dedicated her life to serve people. She spent more than 40 years working for the children’s division through the Department of Social Services. She has served on the Salvation Army Advisory Board and the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors for more than 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 people she believes may be lonely. She consistently works behind the scenes to ensure individuals with the greatest needs have resources available to assist them.

The Life-Long Philanthropist Award is sponsored by Commerce Bank.

Philanthropic Youth: Mallory Sublette of Palmyra

Sublette’s values of promoting health in others and being philanthropic were present at a young age. When she was 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 done by Sublette, now 18, surrounds promoting fitness and encouraging people to take control of their health.

She began a “Faith and Fitness 4 Kids” through the Palmyra United Methodist Church, where she facilitated physical activities for children and offered encouragement to improve wellness. Having a passion for health, Sublette launched a “Wellness 360” social, emotional and physical wellness program that promotes the concept that to do well, we must be well. She has traveled to schools across the state and spoke at many clubs/events sharing this initiative.

She created a platform of “Drop and Give Me 20” that encourages 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. She also is Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen.

The Philanthropic Youth Award is sponsored by Northeast Power.

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.

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