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Seven years ago, two woman-owned businesses came together to present profiles of woman leaders in every issue of metroMAGAZINE. On the pages that follow, we catch up with some of the 34 women featured as “game-changers” and “Women who WOW” since 2015.

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Numerous foundations along with contributions from businesses and private donors create a robust philanthropic spirit in southwest Iowa fueled by the desire to uplift the region for the benefit of all its citizens.

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Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is considered one of the best zoos in the country and also known worldwide. Its mission is to inspire, educate and engage people to serve as lifelong stewards for the conservation of animals and their habitats.

In 1997, 15-year-old D.J. Sokol was diagnosed with cancer. His mother tells the story of his illness, treatment and death at age 18, and she shares what came next as she still copes with grief and how she keeps D.J.’s memory alive today.

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GRATITUDE AND GENEROSITY are integral to the holiday period from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, and the spirit of the season creates a heightened awareness of nonprofits and inspires a welcome surge of giving. However, the start of a new year also serves as a reminder that organizations serve year-round and need the support of the community all 52 weeks of the year.

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In 2020, metroMAGAZINE explored how the COVID-19 pandemic affected our local nonprofits’ operations and how they continued to serve the community despite unforeseeable demands on staff and resources. Now we look at how they are moving forward in 2021.