United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has announced that the 2021-2022 United Way Campaign Chairs will be Noelle Branning and Corey Vertich. Additionally, the goal for this year’s campaign has been set at $11.3 million. Last year’s campaign raised $10.8 million for the local communities of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee. The theme of this year’s campaign has been determined to be “Back to the Future”.
Branning was a co-chair for last year’s United Way Pacesetter campaign and Vertich has been on the United Way Funds Distribution team for nearly 20 years, so their partnership to co-chair this year’s campaign made sense. Both have been involved in many local charity events and are counting on support from local leaders, friends, employers, and all supporters to reach the campaign goal as we strive to move past the effects of the pandemic.
Noelle Branning is the newest Lee County Tax Collector, elected after United Way Board Member Larry Hart’s retirement in 2020. She is the former board president for United Way Partner Agency, Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida, as well as current Board Member with United Way. She graduated from Florida State University in 1998 and from St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami in 2004. Branning and her husband have two young children, as well as their Australian Labradoodle named Bailey.
“My husband and I have chosen professional paths in public service,” states Branning. “However, embracing service to others extends far beyond our professional lives. We support United Way because we believe in their mission to improving the quality of life for all people in our community while ensuring funding remains local. By supporting our local United Way, we are creating positive change for so many in our community. After a truly tumultuous year and seeing this agency and community come together, it is my honor to be the 2022 United Way Campaign Co-Chair alongside Corey Vertich.”
Corey Vertich, CFP®, who celebrates over 30 years in financial services, has been an enthusiastic supporter of the United Way for the past 20 years. He and his firm, Uhler and Vertich Financial Planners, play a very active role in our community with their work, financial support, and fundraising for so many charitable, civic, and environmental organizations in Lee County. Vertich said, “We are our community and so we must nurture and care for it.”
“For the past twenty years, I have participated in the United Way Allocations Process where we review and decide the funding for our agencies and their programs,” says Vertich. “This experience has left me humbled by all the amazing work they do for our community. Through this process, I have seen the how United Way makes an impact with every dollar it allocates. That is why I am so excited to co-chair the 2021-2022 campaign with Noelle Branning to raise those dollars. Our United Way has a long history of continuously increasing our goal and our community has always given their support. This year we will do it again. With a challenging year behind us, we are looking forward with a vision to continue strengthening our community. That is why, this year we declare “Back to the Future!”
The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has raised and distributed almost $200 million since established in 1957.
All money raised in the United Way campaign stays in the local community to help support the local human service network. United Way Partner Agencies and initiatives include: The Alvin A Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center, Partners for Breast Cancer Care, Harry Chapin Food Bank, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and United Way 211, to mention a few. These agencies serve a diverse range of needs in our community such as nurturing children and youth, strengthening families, and meeting critical needs like helping the elderly and disabled live independently, and empowering communities by bringing health and human services to neighborhoods.
In addition to raising funds for human service organizations in our community, the United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies and initiatives, helping them to work together focusing on issues and solutions that continue to improve lives.
For more information, please call United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee at (239) 433-2000 or visit UnitedWayLee.org