Community Impact Awards 2013: Community-Event Award

An event supported by a company that brings a community together

By Caitlin Hill


WinnerThe Nerdery
Technology; Bloomington

Nerds can make a difference too. The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge - an event devoted to helping positive-impact organizations work smarter online - raised more than $2.5 million in professional services for 84 nonprofits last year. Self-organized volunteer teams of eight to 10 web professionals recruited their peers in the areas of development, project management, strategy, graphic design, and more to help the nonprofits enhance their interactive services and, ultimately, further their missions.


Cowboy Jack's (The After Midnight Group)
Hospitality; Minneapolis

Cowboy Jack's has made community impact a large part of its work - especially through its fund raising for the Special Olympics of Minnesota. Last year, Cowboy Jack's raised $25,000 through its Polar Plunge team, in which 150 plungers braved the icy waters of mid-winter. The company hopes to raise even more next time. "Cowboy Jack's is an amazing group of people who never expect anything in return from us," says Megan Powell, the Special Olympics torch run manager. "They are always trying to see how they can help us raise more for Special Olympics Minnesota."

First & First
Creative real estate; Minneapolis

First & First was founded in 2010 with a vision to re-invigorate neighborhoods, build better communities, and transform everyday life through art, culture, and interactive spaces. The company succeeded in its goal by bringing the interactive art installation, Playing the Building, to Minneapolis last year. The 17,000-square-foot installation transformed the interior of Aria in the Warehouse District into a massive sound sculpture that visitors can sit and play. "Playing the Building is the first of many creative, cultural experiences we plan to bring to the Twin Cities," says founder Peter Remes.

[View the full list of 2013 Community Impact Award winners and finalists]