PACESETTER COMPANIES PUT UNITED WAY CAMPAIGN AT 59%!
The largest crowd in the history of the United
Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee celebrated its 56 th annual Campaign Kick-off at the Harborside Event Center on Wednesday. Over 800 community leaders and volunteers attended the festivities. John Clinger, United Way Campaign Chair, and Senior Vice-President Merrill Lynch and Financial Advisor for Clinger Sizemore and Associates, encouraged everyone to “LIVE UNITED” and to Give, Advocate and Volunteer for this community.
“We live in a very generous community and our United Way has met its fundraising goals year after year, even during the most difficult economic times. The economy appears to be improving, but many of our friends, neighbors and co-workers are still struggling. The needs in our community are as great as ever. Many individuals and families who have never asked for help in the past are coming to United Way partner agencies or calling United Way 211 due to loss of jobs, and other overwhelming financial or medical issues,” said John Clinger.
“I am passionate about the United Way and the local United Way network of 70 local agencies that help so many people right here in our community! I look forward to a successful campaign. We need your help to meet our campaign goal. With your help, we can change lives and truly make a difference,” Clinger concluded.
The breakfast rocked with entertainment by LCEC’s employee band, the Killa-Watts. Kellie Burns from NBC -2 emceed the breakfast. Members of the local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts carried the flags and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Major Louden of The Salvation Army led the invocation and Yesenia Flores, a member of Boys and Girls Clubs sang “God Bless America” to a very appreciative crowd.
United Way Pacesetter Chairs Laurel Smith from Gravina, Smith, Matte and Arnold, Public Relations and Marketing and Cindy Hawkins from Wiltshire, Whitley, Richardson and English announced that the Pacesetter Companies – those who run their campaigns early to demonstrate United Way support and to encourage others – along with early leadership gifts, have already raised a total of $4,909,192. This represents 59% of the goal and is a 6% increase over last year.
“These results show that our community does ‘LIVE UNITED’ and supports the ‘Give. Advocate. Volunteer’ theme of this campaign,” said Smith and Hawkins. This community has a long tradition of supporting our United Way because it’s the most effective way to help our neighbors and strengthen our community.”
Publix again broke the $1 million mark by raising the most of any of the Pacesetter Companies with $1,506,349.
The top 10 Pacesetter companies include the following :
Publix Super Markets $1,506,349
Chico’s FAS $ 375,000
Bonita Bay Group $ 351,892
LCEC $ 187,000
FineMark National Bank and Trust $ 178,602
ENTERPRISE Holdings $ 130,220
Lee Memorial Health System $ 116,581
Turbine Generator Maintenance, Inc $ 65,666
SymMetric Revenue Solutions $ 65,852
Tween Waters Inn $ 47,062
All money raised in the United Way campaign stays in the local community to help support the local human service network of partner agencies. United Way partner agencies like Harry Chapin Food Bank, CCMI, Bonita Springs Assistance Office, Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center, Children’s Advocacy Center, Boys and Girls Clubs, and LARC serve a diverse range of needs in our community. The United Way advances the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for everyone in our community, focusing on education, income, and health, as they are the building blocks for a better quality of life.
In addition to raising funds for human service organizations in our community, the United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies, helping them to work together focusing on issues and solutions that continue to improve lives.
The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee has been “the way the community cares” since it was established in 1957. For more information please call United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee at (239) 433-2000 or visit www.unitedwaylee.org .