United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has announced that the 2020-2021 United Way Campaign Chairs will be Karen Ryan and Bob Beville. Additionally, the goal for this year’s campaign has been set at $10.8 million. Last year’s campaign raised $10,785,325 for the local communities of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee. The theme of this year’s campaign has been determined to be “Rise to the Challenge”.
Karen and Bob have been business associates and friends for many 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 during this unique time.
Karen Ryan, APR, CPRC has been involved in United Way for 25 years in various capacities including board member, campaign cabinet, allocations leader, LCEC campaign chair, and fun-maker. As the PR leader at LCEC, she is proud that the local electric cooperative has been among the top ten fundraisers for United Way in SWFL for decades. As a local business, they work to offer a hand UP to those in need. Karen is the mother of two daughters beginning their careers in opposite ends of the country, New York & Los Angeles.
Bob Beville is a fourth generation Floridian, born in Miami but settling in Fort Myers in 1976. Bob celebrated his 40th year at Waterman Broadcasting this year and has pledged that they will be an integral part of this campaign. Currently Bob is on the Board of Captains for Clean Water, is Chairman of the Lee County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, serves on the United Way Board of Directors, and is co leader of United Way Allocations Team 1.
“LCEC was founded to provide service to people who were not being served by any other provider. United Way does the same for those in need.” Karen continues, “I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be a servant leader. These are challenging times and now, more than ever, we need our community to Rise to the Challenge and contribute to the agencies that need support more than ever.” Bob and Karen look forward to working together on what will arguably be the most important campaign Southwest Florida has faced.
The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has raised and distributed over $188 million since it was 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.