SIDNEY — The Shelby County United Way revealed final fundraising projections during a finale event held at Sidney’s American Legion Post 217 on Thursday.
Guests from businesses and organizations throughout the community were in attendance, and a free lunch was provided courtesy of PNC Bank.
The SCUW’s goal for the 2018 annual fundraising campaign was $1,340,000. As of Thursday, total funds raised was projected to be $1,362,177, exceeding the goal by over $22,000.
Executive Director Scott Barr thanked all involved in the work of the campaign, as well as in the organization of Thursday’s event. He and campaign chair Josh Ross shared projections and gave gifts to division leaders. These leaders/co-leaders, their goals, and contributions are as follows:
• Cornerstone and Special Gifts division: Jayne Smith and Amy West — goal: $43,000; actual: $50,380.
• Education division: Jeff Hobbs, Amy Simindinger and Tiffany Rank — goal: $45,000; actual: $50,152.
• Not-for-profits division: Amanda Partington and Chad Gessler — goal: $21,000; actual: $25,641.
• Public employees division: Mark Cundiff, Jodie Siegel and Bob Guillozet — goal: $31,000; actual: $33,606.
• Retail division: Mike Phillips and Kim Doak — goal: $22,000; actual: $24,790.
• Service division: Mark Shipman and Sandi Shipman — goal: $205,000; actual: $209,432.
• Health care division: David Andrick and Jennifer Huelskamp — goal: $51,000; actual: $52,582.
• Professional division: Ashley Himes — goal: $65,000; actual: $73,905.
• Small manufacturing division: Jason Wagner — goal: $27,000; actual: $30,932.
• Large manufacturing division: Heather Boeger — goal: $830,000; actual: $810,757.
United Way Board of Trustees President Mike Lochard recognized outgoing board members, Josh Koltak, David Chivington, and Cindy Ohlsen, all six year members.
Koltak served on the special projects committee, and as board development chair, allocation team leader, as well as executive committee immediate past president, president, first vice president, and second vice president.
Chivington served on the marketing and allocation committees, and as community initiatives chair.
Ohlsen served on the financial/audit, allocation, and enhanced giving committees.
Lochard also recognized two new United Way partner agencies, the STAR House — which stands for Sheriff’s Treatment and Recovery House — and Agape. This brings the United Way’s total agency count to 29.
Lochard also spoke about another United Way addition.
“What an incredible year it has been,” Lochard said. “During the 2017-18 school year, we kicked off the Student United Way. Two students, a junior and a senior, from each of the 10 Shelby County high schools participated.”
The students were given the task of reviewing grant applications and allocating funds to community programs. The group awarded six grants, varying in amounts, Lochard said.
One grant was awarded to the Sidney Presbyterian Munch Bunch program, which provides bagged food to children in all Sidney and Houston elementary schools to combat weekend hunger.
Another grant was awarded to the New Choice Play program, which will be used to create a space for children who are impacted by domestic violence to play.
“It is a hope that in creating this safe fun environment that children will feel more comfortable opening up about their experiences,” Lochard said.
In 2019, Lochard continued, the Student United Way will be given a $10,000 allocation budget.
“We can’t wait to see the continued positive impact this will have on Shelby County.”
Barr recognized Edgewell for a record campaign exceeding $43,000; Lochard and Choice One for “one of the highest” giving rates per capita; as well as Sidney City Schools and Wilson Health for achieving their goal despite a change in leadership this year.
The top three businesses of this year’s campaign are estimated to be Emerson, Airstream, and Honda.
Barr recognized NK Parts for running a coordinated employee campaign this year that will place within the top 20 or higher, as they are still in progress until Nov. 16.
“With the participation of NK Parts this year, we are humbled that we have nine of the top 10 largest employers in Shelby County running full-fledged United Way campaigns, along with all of the other mid-size, small, and individual folks,” Barr said.
Lochard spoke about the continued expansion of the kindergarten tutoring program. A total of 99 volunteers have served 915 hours within the community during the 2017-18 school year, he said, and currently, 65 volunteers are serving all of Sidney City Schools and Fairlawn kindergarten classes.
“This brings me to the most important message I want to leave you with today,” Lochard said. “Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.’
“You don’t have to have a college degree to serve,” Lochard continued. “You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve; you only need a heart full of grace. The people of Shelby County have shown time and time again you have hearts full of grace.”
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.