FastBreak Foundation Inspiring Women Winner

Dane Mizutani
Web Editorial Assistant

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Sarah Caruso hasn’t always been about the nonprofit life. She started her career as a businesswoman, but said after working with nonprofits in her previous line of work, she found her true calling.

“In my previous career I had the privilege of being on some nonprofit boards and I really saw the community need,” Caruso said. “I wanted to be a part of the solution.”

So she took action. Caruso started her work with Greater Twin Cities United Way about five years ago and has ascended up the ladder over the last half-decade.

Caruso currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Greater Twins Cities United Way, the second largest chapter worldwide. Greater Twin Cities United Way supports 338 community programs and more than 180 nonprofits in the Twin Cities and elsewhere, and also seeks to build community strength.

“We’re here to strengthen the whole community,” she said. “We play a unique role in raising $90 million per year and giving that back to some of the very best nonprofits in the community.”

Caruso’s passion for her work is obvious and Land O’ Lakes and the Lynx took notice of that passion.

That’s the reason she was honored as the Minnesota Lynx Inspiring Woman for July at Tuesday night’s game against the Atlanta Dream. This is the latest installment in an honor that is designed to empower women that are helping better communities around the Twin Cities and elsewhere. Caruso stood in front of a crowd of more than 9,000 fans during the second quarter Tuesday night for a brief ceremony where she received a plaque and an autographed basketball.

Caruso was clearly excited to get some recognition and couldn’t contain herself from enthusiastically waving her hands in front of the packed crowd at Target Center. She said the energy in the building was awesome, but that the message behind the honor was even more important than receiving it.

“It’s so valuable to highlight women that are leaders in our community — whether that’s on the basketball court or in nonprofits or in a business,” she said. “It’s great to be an example for women everywhere.”

Caruso attended the game with her son, David, and the two had the pleasure of watching Maya Moore drop a single-game franchise record 48 points in the Lynx’s 112-108 win over the Atlanta Dream. Though the performance Moore put forth was incredible, David Caruso had a different highlight to his night.

“I’m just really proud of Mom,” he said. “She is the hardest worker I know and one of the most driven people I know. So for her to get some recognition was really special for me to see.”

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