SIDNEY — Sixty years ago, the United Fund was founded in Shelby County. The group had a goal to raise $60,000. They surpassed their goal and raised more than $70,000.
Flash forward to Thursday, Nov. 9, as volunteers and partner agencies listened as the amounts were announced which were raised for the 2017 Shelby County United Way campaign during the finale luncheon at the Sidney American Legion. The goal for the campaign was $1,325,000. The final amount raised? $1,366,021.
“It’s been a fantastic year,” said Executive Director Scott Barr. “This is my fifth campaign (as executive director). Every campaign has been different. This year was a lot less stressful than last year’s.”
The cornerstone and special gifts division — lead by co-leaders Jayne Smith and Amy West — had a goal of $41,000. They raised $45,636.
The education division — which co-leaders Jeff Hobbs, Amy Simindinger and Tiffany Rank — had a goal of $55,000. They raised $57,137.
Amanda Partington and Bridget Davis were the co-leaders of the not-for-profit division. Their goal was $19,000 and they raised $23,550.
Public employees division had a goal of $31,000. Co-leaders Kelly Holthaus, Jodie Siegel and Bob Guillozet led the way and raised $32,218.
Mike Phillips was the leader for the retail division. His goal was $22,000. The amount raised was $24,596.
Mark and Sandi Shipman were the co-leaders of the service division. Their goal was $210,000 and they raised $204,628.
The health care division was led by David Andrick and Jennifer Huelskamp. Their goal of $51,000 was surpassed with their final total of $55,862.
Aaron Lowe was the leader for the professional division. “The goal will be changing next year,” said Barr, as he announced Lowe raised $70,347 for the division. The goal was $57,000.
The small manufacturing division was led by Jason Wagner. The division raised $28,181 of its $30,000 goal.
Josh Ross and Tim Bickel led the large manufacturing division. They topped their goal of $809,000 by raising $823,817.
Barr said three businesses/organizations set new records in their campaigns this year. Emerson raised $376,706, which was $10,000 more than they raised last year. Ross Castings and Innovation raised $7,500 more than they did last year. This year’s total was $9,734.
Sidney City Schools raised $2,000 more than last year. This year they raised $42,255.
Several other companies, said Barr, also increased their donations to the campaign significantly. Included in the list was Holloway, Choice One, Edgewell, Lochard, Honda of Logan County, Wilson Heath and Ashley Himes State Farm Insurance.
There were 41 companies who participated in this year’s campaign, he said. This year’s top 10 donors will have to have donated $32,000 or more.
Barr said thanks to all the donations, the kindergarten reading program continues to grow. There are 46 volunteers reading with and to the students. Volunteers are being sought as the program expands into other schools in Sidney.
“This has been a highly successful year,” said Barr.
United Way President Lenora Randolph reminded those present that the upcoming holiday isn’t just about food.
“It’s about giving thanks,” she said.
She recognized outgoing board of trustee members Nancy Stiefel and Duane Gaier, both who have served on the board since 2012. Stiefel has been a member of the allocation committee for the caring for people in crisis program, campaign account volunteer, campaign division leader and events and activities chair for the events and activities committee. Gaier has been the chair of board development, chair of the allocation assignments committee, allocation team leader for caring for people in crisis and enriching the lives of seniors and a member of the executive committee where he is immediate past president, and had served as president, fist vice president and second vice president.
She said accomplishments for the year include the launch of 211, the mobile cause program, student United Way and Day of Action.
Campaign Chair Kurt Barhorst thanked everyone for “stepping up” to accomplish this year’s goal.
“It’s been a real privilege to chair the campaign,” he said. “What we are able to raise is truly amazing. This foundation was laid by the former campaign chairs.”
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.