United Way beats goalPublished 9:04pm Thursday, January 12, 2012
United Way of Southwest Michigan surpassed its 2011 campaign goal reaching 117 percent of its $3.15 community million goal by raising $3,201,241.
“This is a monumental year for United Way,” said 2011 Campaign Chairman Dave Doetsch.
“Not only did we meet our goal of $3.15 million but we exceeded it. For the second year in a row, we have raised over $3 million. In the 69-year history of United Way of Southwest Michigan, this is the highest amount ever raised. What this means is that now more than ever, when the need is so great, we can help the community live better lives through our work in the areas of Education, Income, Health and Basic Needs.”
United Way celebrated the campaign success at an awards celebration Thursday at Lake Michigan College. The event was attended by many company representatives who received awards for their outstanding contributions to this year’s campaign.
“The campaign success is a true community effort,” said United Way Development Director Sharon Polfus. “United Way was supported by 239 companies in Berrien and Cass counties through either a campaign or a corporate gift,” she said. “The full campaign includes almost 10,000 individuals who give to United Way and approximately 700 leadership givers who each donate $500 or more to the effort.”
Doetsch also credited the many campaign volunteers and United Way staff for this year’s success. “The success this year is directly due to a great team at the United Way, outstanding volunteers who were so very kind to give their time and energy, and of course the many great business partners and their employees who without their support the success of this year would not have happened,” he said.
This year’s campaign welcomed 30 new businesses that together contributed more than $43,000 to the campaign goal.
“United Way focuses on the areas of Education, Income, Health and Basic Needs,” said United Way President Anna Murphy. “I think the addition of that many new businesses shows us that what we are doing is striking a chord with people. They see us working with our funded partners to set goals that are making lasting impact on lives and the community as a whole.”
Special Recognition Award
United Way gave special recognition to the campaign’s top three companies for the creativity, effort and success of their campaigns.
n Whirlpool Corporation
n AEP –Cook Nuclear Power Plant
n Lakeland HealthCare
Small Business Awards
(Under 25 employees)
n Business of the Year – Competitive Edge
Employee Campaign Coordinator of the Year – Sarah Hadley, Competitive Edge
Medium Business Awards (26-100 employees)
Business of the Year – Shepherd Caster Corporation
Employee Campaign Coordinator of the Year – Paula Polaskey/Kim Smith, Michigan Works!
Large Business Awards (101 and more employees)
Business of the Year – Chemical Bank
Employee Campaign Coordinator of the Year – Sue McCormick, Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital
Funded Partner of the Year Award
Michigan Works! Of Berrien, Cass and VanBuren
Bonfire Award Winners (At least 90% participation and uses best practices) Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berrien and Cass, Boys and Girls Club, Competitive Edge, Kemner Iott Agency of Cass County, Mid-West Family Broadcasting, Disability Network of Southwest Michigan, Fifth Third Bank, United Parcel Service, Chemical Bank, Louis Padnos Facilities of Benton Harbor and Dowagiac
Flame Award Winners (At least 75% participation and uses best practices) Berrien County Cancer Services, Michigan Works!, Coloma Township Police, Cornerstone Alliance and Chamber Services, Capital Solutions for the Home Product Industry, Shepherd Caster Corporation, Gast Manufacturing, United Federal Credit Union
Spark Award Winners (At least 50% participation and uses best practices) Allied Solutions, Area Agency on Aging, Brown Funeral Home, Tyler Honda-Benton Harbor, Greater Niles Community Federal Credit Union, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, City of Buchanan, APL Logistics, Red Bud Insurance, Carson’s, Tyler Automotive Group-Niles, Target Store # 1127, Edgewater Bank, Ravitron, JC Penney Co., Express-1, Ausco Products, Meijer-Stevensville, Meijer-Benton Harbor, Honor Credit Union, Horizon Bank, Riverwood Center, K&M Machine Fabricating, Benton Harbor St. Joseph Wastewater Treatment Plant, Palisades Nuclear Power Plant, Robert Bosch Corporation
Live United Award
Jim Schlaman of Lakeland HealthCare received the Live UnitedAward for his work as the Chairman of United Way’s Community Impact Cabinet. The Live United Award recognizes a person or company who best exemplifies what it means to Live United by giving, advocating and volunteering. Schlaman worked to challenge the entire Impact Cabinet to tackle difficult topics and continue moving forward. He pushed to ensure accountability for decisions and was always there for support. Jim was also visibly involved and supportive of Lakeland’s employee campaign.
Live United Award
United Parcel Service
UPS stepped up their contribution to United Way in 2011 with the first UPS Run for Wellness to benefit United Way’s Girl’s on the Run program. The local UPS employees got involved in the UPS 5K by asking their customers to sponsor the event. They created and distributed the brochures, signed up runners, created signage and supplied nearly all of the products needed to have a successful 5K. The UPS Flame truck was on-site for the race.
On a cold, wet Saturday in September, more tha 80 runners participated in the event and 74 UPS staffers and their families donated 296 hours of their time on this day.
David J. Weichhand Award
Mid-West Family Broadcasting
The David J. Weichhand Award for Creativity and Inspiration is designed to recognize and honor a company for its creativity and imagination in the employee campaign by going above and beyond what is expected to make the campaign fun, exciting and inspirational. Mid-West Family Broadcasting inspired givers with the opportunity to throw pies in the face of the leadership team! New givers got a pie, increased givers got a pie and you could just buy pie to throw as part of a fundraiser. In the past, company leaders have taken their turns in the dunk tank. Meeting the company goal was rewarded with gift cards and other fun incentives.