Thomas to lead 2023 United Way Campaign


SIDNEY — Scott Barr, Shelby County United Way President and CEO, has announced the 2023 Campaign chair will be Ed Thomas.

“Ed is a dedicated community supporter and had served the YMCA in multiple states, including the Sidney Shelby County YMCA. As the leader of a local United Way partner agency, he saw first hand the value and impact of the Shelby County United Way has in our community. In retirement, Ed is active in serving many boards, service groups, and his church. We are thrilled to have Ed champion the 2023 campaign,” said Barr.

Thomas served as the CEO of the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA for 15 years before retiring in 2020. His career with the YMCA spanned 38 years and covered four states, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas and finally Ohio, when he and his wife moved to Sidney in 2004. His past community involvement has included serving as chairman of the Shelby County CASA/GAL Program and Applefest Boards, and as a Board member for the Mercy Mission House. Currently he is a Board member for Agape Distribution and Sidney Parks and Recreation.

He also holds volunteer positions as the Connection Team Leader with the Valley Church, and Scripture Distribution Chairman and member of the Prison Ministry with the Shelby County Gideon’s. He was a former Membership chair and current Scholarship Selection Committee member of the Rotary Club of Sidney. He is currently the chairman of the YMCA Triangle of Honor Committee, adviser for the Christian Academy Chess Club and Election Poll volunteer for Shelby County. His previous involvement with the Shelby County United Way includes co-chairing the Large Manufacturing Division for the 2022 Campaign, and chairing the Not-For-Profit Division in 2018.

“I’ve personally given to the United Way since I participated in my first employee giving campaign in the mid-80’s. The truth is, at first I didn’t fully understand or appreciate the many ways my gift was helping, but I knew that by supporting the United Way it made all of us better. As I learned more, I saw how United Way improves a community — how it improves who we are collectively by making the lives of individuals and groups of people so much better. Shelby County United Way has done this countless times in numerous ways throughout the years and it is the primary reason why I am looking forward and proud to serve as this year’s Campaign chair,” said Thomas.

“Here in Shelby County, we are truly blessed in so many different ways, but we also recognize there are still so many needs and opportunities. To be at our very best, we need thriving families, an educated community, champions for our children and safe neighborhoods,” he said. “The United Way is critical to supporting these goals and so many more. So even as we face a year of uncertainties and unrest, I encourage all of us to rise above by making this a year about sharing and giving —about coming together for the good of one, and the benefit of many.

“Individually we can give a little, but collectively we can do so much more. As Shelby County residents, we are at our best when we unite to support folks that are in need. This is why your support matters so much and is so greatly valued. When you lead with your gift, you ignite the multiplier effect for good, ease pain, raise hope and provide the means to help people who may feel forgotten and overlooked. And by helping some, we make all of our community stronger. I look forward to having you join us in this cause. Thank you for your concern and support,” said Thomas.

Shelby County United Way is celebrating 66 years of serving the community. The 2023 campaign theme is Because of You. The campaign will kick off on Sept. 14 at The Palazzo in Botkins.

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