United Way sets record campaign amount
The United Way of Portage County established another record
Wednesday, Dec. 2, receiving $2,828,280 in pledges and donations for its 2015
The Victory Celebration at SentryWorld in Stevens Point
revealed the amount, surpassing the $2,819,344 raised in the 2014 campaign.
Last week United Way officials expressed concerns about
reaching this year’s goal, announcing that the campaign was at $2,771,428, with
only about $28,000 left to go, calling the last 10 percent the hardest.
The amount to reach was higher earlier in November, but
Sentry Insurance with total donations, from employee contributions and
corporate matching funds, became the first donor in the county to provide $1
million, reducing the anticipated figure left to raise.
“I want to thank everyone for another amazing year,” said
Sue Wilcox, United Way of Portage County executive director. “All of this is
because of all of you. Because you believe that the term ‘community’ means so
much more than just a place to live. Your definition is about connection – a
helping hand where it’s needed – comforting those in pain – understanding and
advocating for those who don’t have a voice. We are blessed to live in such a
This year’s Campaign Drive Chairs – the Cooper family – consisting
of Timmy and London Cooper; their children, Lucy, Eloise, and Phineas, and
Timmy’s parents, Bob and Nancy Cooper talked about their experiences and thanked
all who helped.
London Cooper said the campaign was like a really fun,
really fast rollercoaster. “There have been some uphills, but there have also
been some really fast downhills,” she said. “Living in Portage County and
giving back has been a humbling experience.”
Representatives from one of United Way of Portage County’s
funded programs, the CAP Services Family Crisis Center, talked about how their
program is able to help county residents, thanks to United Way funding.
In addition to revealing the campaign total, the Victory
Celebration included the awarding of the TRAVEL UNITED Sweepstakes prizes.
A 2016 vehicle donated by Scaffidi Motors was awarded to
Carlos Reyna, an employee of Intevation Food Group in Plover, during a
“game-show”-like portion of the event in which event emcee Steve Martin had
five finalists play the “Price is Right” game “Plinko.” Reyna lives in
Wisconsin Rapids with his fiancée, Cassandra, and two children, Carmynn, 4, and
Caroline, 1 month.
The other four finalists were Beverly Reinwand, Plover; Josh
Duchow, Wisconsin Rapids; Lorraine Avery, Plover, and John Noel, Plover.
Reinwand won a two-night stay at The Landing Resort in Egg
Harbor and a $300 gas card donated by The Landing Resort and the Gaboda Family.
Duchow won Green Bay Packers tickets and a $400 Trig’s gift
card donated by Ellis Stone Construction Co. and Trig’s.
Avery won a plane trip to anywhere in the continental U.S.
donated by Marathon Travel.
Noel won a $1,000 Amtrak gift certificate and a $500 Visa
card donated by Central City Credit Union and Delta Dental. Noel donated his
prize to the Stevens Point Area YMCA and Boys & Girls Club of Portage
County to be raffled or auctioned off at next month’s Passport to Paradise
fundraiser for the two United Way-funded agencies.
Marge Coker and Tina Peters, co-chairs of the Stevens
Society, reported that more than 900 couples and individuals gave $500 or more
to the campaign, representing more than one-third of the contributions and