United Way celebrates victory
Community remained generous during a trying year
For the City Times
United Way of Portage County and the Portage County Community virtually celebrated the conclusion of the 2020 Community Campaign during a recent event.
United Way of Portage County Executive Director Sue Wilcox announced at the organization’s “Victory Celebration” on Dec. 9, at the K.B. Willett Ice Arena, that the community had rallied to raise a campaign total of $ 3,104,592 for United Way of Portage County’s 75th anniversary.
The campaign surpassed the 2020 goal of $3.05 million, during what has proved to be a difficult and challenging year for many. This total is in addition to the $ 614,848 that was raised as part of the Portage County COVID-19 Relief Fund (PCCRF).
PCCRF was established in a partnership with the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin and the United Way of Portage County to provide flexible resources to organizations working to address critical needs due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Portage County.
“In this disconnected time we’re living in, thank you for continuing to share in this common goal – to help our community’s most vulnerable populations,” said Sue Wilcox. “Your kindness is unstoppable. You are my superheroes.”
The Facebook Live event included a “virtual round of applause for supporting the community for 75 years” from NHL Center for the Dallas Stars and Plover native, Joe Pavelski.
“Your long tradition of giving back makes Portage County a great place to live. A place where people can live, can grow, can chase their dreams, wherever that might take them,” he said.
Two of this year’s Campaign Drive Chairs – Jim Anderson and Tina Peters – were on hand at the Victory Celebration to share their experiences and to thank each and every person that helped in reaching the 2020 goal and the difficulties encountered during a tumultuous campaign.
“The status of company campaigns – both large and small – were uncertain; the financial state of individual donors was unknown; and, for an annual campaign that typically receives over 200,000 dollars from in-person, special events, the goal in no way represented a conservative figure or one that could easily be achieved” said Anderson on behalf of the drive chairs.
For the eighth year in a row, the United Way of Portage County LIVE UNITED – GIVE UNITED Sweepstakes has thrilled qualified individual donors with prizes donated by local businesses – including a grand prize of the choice between a new SUV or $25,000. The 2020 sweepstakes concluded with a “pick a puck” game where each of the semi-finalists randomly selected one of the ten prizes, then to a roll of the dice to narrow down the top three prize winners, with Falan Shulfer walking away with the grand prize choice between $25,000 or a new 2020 vehicle donated by Scaffidi Motors and past Drive Chairs.
Salvation Army’s Director of Operations Ed Wilson, provided insight into the importance of United Way and the community dollars raised.
“The partnership we have with United Way is phenomenal,” Wilson said. “We are able to offer and provide second chances to families and individuals because of what you all give. I would like to thank you all on behalf of Salvation Army and the hundreds of individuals that come through our doors.”
To learn more about the United Way, visit www.unitedwaypoco.org.