City Staff Win the 10th Annual Severson Holiday Charity Challenge
During the 2021 holiday season, Metropolitan Planning Organization of Johnson County (MPOJC) entities once again joined together to honor Linda Severson with the Severson Holiday Charity Challenge.
Severson, who served as the human services coordinator for the MPOJC from 1994 until her death in 2011, coordinated the City of Iowa City’s holiday donation drive each year. After her death, city and county government staff with whom she had worked organized the “Severson Holiday Charity Challenge” to help carry on her work.
This friendly competition between MPOJC entities encourages contributions to local charitable organizations chosen by each entity with the “winner” of the Severson Cup selected on the basis of increased giving over their most recent year of participation. This year, staff from Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty and Johnson County participated in the challenge.
All told, agencies in the Severson Challenged donated 2,050 items and nearly $2900 directed to area food pantries (including the CommUnity Food Pantry, North Liberty Community Pantry, The Center and Coralville’s BASP Families) as well as well as for Coralville’s utility bill assistance program, Cassie’s Mittens and the Joan Buxton School Children’s Aid Fund.
The City of North Liberty was awarded the winner of the 2021 Severson Challenge as employees more than doubled their previous contribution to the North Liberty Community Pantry, donating 146 pounds of food and nearly $1,000.
The Severson Cup, an engraved travelling trophy, will be turned over to North Liberty for the year. This is the third time City of North Liberty staff has won also won the trophy. Previously the trophy came to North Liberty following the 2018 and 2015 holiday seasons. The previous winner, following the 2019 holiday season, was the City of Iowa City. In 2020, the challenge took a hiatus and was replaced by the Trails-to-Table Challenge.