United Way of Portage Co. Raises Record $2.7 Million
Left, DRIVE UNITED Sweepstakes vehicle winner Bruce Kuhr talks with Victory Celebration emcee Chuck Nason during the Wednesday, Dec. 4, event at the Holiday Inn. (Contributed photo)
For the City-Times
The Portage County community came together in a record-breaking way for United Way of Portage County’s 2013 Campaign, raising $2,768,436, it was revealed at the Wednesday, Dec. 4, Victory Celebration at the Holiday Inn in Stevens Point.
The amount surpasses this year’s goal of $2.6 million, and tops the previous record of $2,725,981 raised in 2012. “Each of you have helped make a difference – right here in Portage County – and we thank you for all that you do,” said Chuck Nason, emcee at the Victory Celebration.
United Way of Portage County Executive Director Sue Wilcox attributed the success of this year’s campaign to all individuals and organizations that supported United Way this year, including many of whom gave first-time donations of $52 or more to qualify for several incentives new to the campaign in 2013. Those incentives included the DRIVE UNITED Sweepstakes and the GIVE & GET UNITED Coupon Book.
For the DRIVE UNITED Sweepstakes, a 2014 vehicle donated by Scaffidi Motors was awarded to Bruce Kuhr, a computer programmer at Sentry Insurance, at the Victory Celebration during a “game-show”-like portion of the event in which Nason had three finalists select a key and then open their respective doors to see what prize they won. Kuhr lives in Stevens Point with his wife, Kallie. They are expecting their first children, twins, in March.
The other two finalists were Maureen Miller, who won Green Bay Packers tickets and a $300 gas card donated by Ellis Stone Construction Co. and the Gaboda family, and Lois Cose, who won $500 in Portage County gift certificates donated by Delta Dental. Automatic entry into the DRIVE UNITED Sweepstakes went to 2013 donors of $52 or more whose 2012 gift was less than $52 AND to 2013 donors who increased this year’s gift by $26 over their 2012 gift of $52 or more.
All people who donated $52 or more in 2013 will receive the GIVE & GET UNITED Coupon Book, which features $400 worth of coupons at local businesses. They will be distributed later this month for use throughout 2014. Spectra Print donated printing for the coupon books, JHL Digital Direct donated mail processing, and Delta Dental donated mailing expenses for distribution, allowing for United Way to offer the incentive as a “thank you” to contributors at no expense to the nonprofit.
This year’s Campaign Chair Family – Erin and Ryan Andrews, and their children, Josh, Riley, and Ellie – were on hand at the Victory Celebration to talk about their experiences and thank all who helped. Erin Andrews said having her children involved with the campaign fit well with their goal of increasing community participation. “We wanted our kids to see all United Way does to help the community, and also to see how this community supports United Way,” she said. “We learned so much as a family, and feel we benefited more by doing this.”
Representatives from two of United Way of Portage County’s partner programs, Meals on Wheels and Rural Delivered Meals, presented the final campaign numbers and talked about how their programs are able to help county residents thanks to United Way funding.
In addition, Traditional Donor Sweepstakes prize donors presented the winners with their respective prizes during the program. Winners included Ann Kiefer, who won two round-trip airline tickets from Marathon Travel; Trina Bierman, who won $500 in school supplies for the school of her choice (Madison Elementary School) from Office Supplies 2U, Inc.; Scott Shaver, who won a two-night stay at The Landing Resort in Egg Harbor from The Landing Resort; Doreen Beilke, who won a $400 Trig’s shopping spree from Trig’s; Rose Groshek, who won a pair of 2013 Green Bay Packers tickets donated by John and Jeanne Herder; and Sherri Flaker, who won an Apple iPad from Central City Credit Union.
United Way of Portage County’s mission is to bring people and resources together to achieve measurable results that improve people’s lives and strengthen the community. It does so by focusing on the building blocks for a better life – education, income, health, and community basics. To learn more, visit www.unitedwaypoco.org.