The Board of Directors is pleased to announce Ms. Jenna Berger as the Executive Director of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Minnesota.  Ms. Berger, a native of Central Minnesota, received her BA from St. Cloud State University in 2003 and most recently served as the Executive Director of the St. Cloud Technical and Community College Foundation.  Jenna will begin her work with UCP on July 21, 2014 and will follow Judy Moening’s thirty-six year legacy of compassion and advocacy for individuals with disabilities.

“Jenna’s experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector will serve the organization well.”  states Ms. Moening.  “She will take our work to the next level as we continue to focus on strengthening the value and name recognition of UCP, and boost the voices of those we serve.”

Serving as Director of Resource and Development and Partner Relations at United Way of Central MN, Ms. Berger and her team proudly ended her final annual campaign at over $3.2 million dollars.  Jenna attributes her prior experience in sales and marketing at Midsota Plastic Surgeons and her work at the Paramount Arts District to her success in connecting needed resources to both United Way and to the Central Minnesota Community.

Jenna is a board member of the St. Cloud Morning Optimist Club; a member of several chambers, serves as an advisory board member at Big Brothers Big Sisters, is a mentor to women in transition; and volunteers in her community.  Always a connector, Jenna is passionate about a strong community, innovation, building social capital, and has a deep determination to help others beat odds.

Currently, Jenna and her husband, Chad, live in Sauk Rapids with their daughter, Alexandra.

We welcome Jenna to the UCP family.



UCP of Central Minnesota honored volunteers at the annual dinner meeting in April.

Volunteer board members were honored with a Certificate of Appreciation.

Emily Salzbrun, volunteer board member was honored for her fundraising work.  Emily came up with the idea for our event, “Adventures in Camelot” and worked with her committee and raised over $19,000 net on a first-time event.  The second annual event will be held September 12th, 2014 at the Rivers Edge Convention Center.

Danielle Liebl was acknowleded as the recipient of the national UCPA Life Without Limits Award.  Danielle told the group about her award experience and her work in the field of disability awareness.

Julie Theiler was honored as the Eva Cook Jones Educator of the Year.  Julie, a special education teacher at Avon Elementary School in Avon, MN was nominated by Deb Paulson.  This award honors an educator in Benton, Sherburne or Stearns county who has “gone above and beyond” the requirements of his/her profession to raise awareness and recognize the challenges that arise in educating a person with a disability.

Guest speaker, Jenny Hill, gave a presentation on her newly released book, “Walking With Tension”.  This book chronicles Jenny’s experiences growing up with cerebral palsy.  Jenny’s book is available through Barnes & Noble.

UCP board officers, Shelley Gaetz, President; Kristin Schmidt, Treasurer; Susan Schlosser, Vice President; and Cathi Thompson, Secretary, were acknowledged with a special gift.



Congratulations to Danielle Liebl, a recent graduate of the College of St. Benedict,on winning the national UCPA Life Without Limits Award. This award was presented at the national UCPA conference in Nashville, TN by celebrity ambassador, Cheryl Hines.

The Life Without Limits Award is in recognition of Danielle’s work to successfully challenge stereotypes, her status as an outstanding leader within her community and her active participation in activities to enhance the quality of life for others with disabilities. Described as the “poster child” of Special Olympics Minnesota, Danielle’s participation and leadership in this organization began at the age of eleven.

She was an athlete for six years competing in swimming and golf, and continued her involvement as an advocate promoting inclusion and participation in her local community of Richmond and Cold Spring, Minnesota. During her time on the Special Olympics National Youth Activation Committee,

Danielle co-founded a campaign called “Spread the Word to End the Word”. This campaign has gained impressive momentum and become an international movement. While a student, Danielle served two years on the board of directors for UCP of Central Minnesota and participated in events and committees to improve programming and services to individuals with disabilities across the state.

A 2013 graduate of the College of St. Benedict, Danielle was most recently selected as one of only ten youth (out of 700 nominees nationwide) to be awarded a 2013 Peace First Fellowship. This award includes a $50,000 grant over two years to establish her nonprofit organization, DIFFERbilities Experience, for the purpose of providing opportunities in arts, education and sports to persons with and without disabilities to promote inclusion and acceptance.


UCP-CM Loses United Way Funding

Due to a change in the strategic direction of United Way of Central Minnesota, United Cerebral Palsy of Central Minnesota is no longer a partner in the United Way.  United Way has changed their focus areas and the current programs of UCP no longer fit into United Way’s priority funding categories.  After over forty years as a United Way agency, UCP-CM will have a $49,000 annual loss in funding due to these changes in priorities.  We will continue to serve individuals and families affected by the daily challenges of living with a disability in central Minnesota to the best of our ability, but we will need to find other sources of funding to make this possible.  Please help us continue to serve these families and individuals and make a difference in their lives.  You can donate now on our website, Facebook page or designate your United Way pledge directly to UCP.

Your support helps to fund the following services to families:

  • Assistive Technology Demonstration & Loan
  • Computers Go Round
  • Information & Referral
  • Financial Assistance Grants for Specialized Equipment
  • Specialized Equipment Recycling
  • Public Education
  • Super Strikers Bowling League
  • Arts For All
  • Annual Halloween Party for Children With Special Needs & Their Families

You can support UCP-CM in the following ways:

Make a donation on our website, Facebook page, or through the mail

Make a monthly pledge through your online banking

Drop your used clothing off at the WearEver clothing containers located throughout Minnesota that support UCP’s mission

Participate in surveys through OP4G and designate your payment to UCP-CM

Do your online shopping through the Goodsearch search engine and designate your donation to UCP-CM.  Merchants donate a portion of the sale to your favorite charity.

Your support will make a difference in someone’s life and help them achieve greater independence.


16th Annual Stuck In Motion a Huge Success!

UCP of Central Minnesota hosted their annual stationary bike race on Saturday, January 25th at the Whitney Recreation Center. Nine teams of ten riders participated in the event raising over $23,000 to support the programs and services of UCP-CM.

The event winners were: Team with the most pledges: Team Tacy with $7,335.00Individual with highest pledge amount: Emily Salzbrun with $3,726.38, Tinker Belles teamSecond Place with highest pledge amount: Keenan Nichols with $1,760.00, Team TacyTeam pedaling the Most Miles: Tinker Belles with 75.92 miles Female pedaling the most miles: Brianna Mastey with 8.18 miles, Never Say Never teamMale pedaling the most miles: Cliff Robbins at 10.91 miles, The Tinker Belles 15 & under most miles: Aaron D’Allesandro at 8.16 miles, Chunky Monkey teamThe Spirit Award: Team Tacy with their prom theme Asics shoe gift certificate winner: Billi Rudningen, The Wonder PedsSpecial thanks to our sponsors:

Gillette Childrens Specialty Healthcare
Fitness Evolution

Adagio DeeJay Entertainment

McDowall Company
Flying Pig Pizza
H & S Heating & A.C.

HONORABLE MENTION:  Aaron Cross, Motivation on Wheels; Erbert’s & Gerbert’s; Finken Companies; M & H Appliance; Reliable Medical Suppy; Sam’s Club


Opinions for Good

Every now and then an idea comes along that is so compelling it doesn’t take long to say, “Can I play?”. Op4G, one of UCP of Central MN’s newest partners, is a perfect example because it’s a win-win for all of us.  Read on to hear more about this unique opportunity to be a force for good!

Here’s how it works:

In short, you sign up to anonymously participate in surveys; get paid to do so ; and a portion of that payment comes to UCP of Central MN.

To explain a bit more…Op4G maintains a membership list of participants and allows access to it for consumer and market research by advertising agencies and consumer-oriented companies.  But Op4G is different from other research companies because its membership is comprised of people like you – supports of non-profit organizations like UCP of Central MN.

UCP-CM agreed to partner with Op4G after they satisfied our criteria.  All of them are as important to us as to you, if you choose to participate.  You get to decide what Op4G programs you want to be involved with, and you will be paid for any research activity you choose to participate in with at least 25% and up to 100% of your compensation being donated to us.  So, please join today and support UCP-CM.

Visit: Op4G and support UCP of Central MN! Become a member today!