United Way Surpasses $10 Million

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has concluded the 2017-2018 Campaign, and exceeded the campaign goal of $10,000,336. This is the first United Way campaign goal to exceed $10 million and the 25th consecutive year that the goal has been met or exceeded.

Campaign Chairs Beth Hendry and John Clinger made the announcement that local residents and companies contributed a record amount, $10,050,133 to the campaign which is a 4% increase. The campaign’s theme, “The Power of Ten,” emphasizes the power of $10 million: what it can do for United Way Partner Agencies, and the difference the agencies can make in the lives of the people they help.

The announcement was made at the March 29st meeting of the United Way Board of Directors at the United Way headquarters. At the goal announcement Beth Hendry, Campaign Chair, Board Member, and Sr. Vice President of iBERIABANK said, “Not only has our United Way made goal, we have exceeded the $10 million! Our extraordinarily generous community has done it again! To all of you who gave, we send our heartfelt thanks!”

John Clinger, Chair, Board Member, and Sr. Vice President; Sr. Resident Director of Merril Lynch said, “The goal of $10 Million caused us to think about what $10 million can do for the people of our community and our 94 United Way Partner Agencies. Making the goal means our agencies will receive their full share of funding for the coming year, including agencies and programs that are relatively new to the network such as Alliance for the Arts’ ArtPlay for young people with autism, the Multiple Sclerosis Center, I WILL Foundation, Wellfit Girls, and Valerie’s House. Long standing United Way Partner’s like Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Children’s Advocacy Center, Community Cooperative, and Bonita Springs Assistance will be able to continue their vital programs because our United Way surpassed goal. Because of your generosity, hungry families will receive food, veterans will find support through Mission United, abused children will find safety and shelter, older persons can find assistance to remain in their own homes, and thousands of lower income families can get their taxes done free through VITA. You gave so others could have a better life,” Clinger concluded.

Hendry added, “All funds raised by our United Way stay here in our community, and our United Way keeps administrative and fundraising cost extremely low, investing 91% of the money raised to the local agencies and programs. Our United Way has been named a Four-Star Charity, the top rating on Charity Navigator for the past 6 years. Charity Navigator is the largest and most utilized charity evaluator in America.”

“Again, a very sincere thank you to all of the individuals, companies, communities, and partner agencies for your generous contributions. You proved again what an incredibly caring community this is,” Hendry concluded.

2017-18 United Way Campaign Chairs Beth Hendry and John Clinger.

The top local contributing companies and the top communities are as follows:

Top United Way Company Contributors

  1. Publix Super Markets, $1,816,717
  2. Bonita Bay Group, $473,803
  3. Lee Health, $260,555
  5. Chico’s FAS, $200,000
  6. LCEC, $191,596
  7. FineMark National Bank & Trust, $172,311
  8. Lee County School District, $152,952
  9. BB&T Oswald Trippe & Company, $114,437
  10. Lee County Government, $105,156

Top United Way Community Contributors

  1. Bonita Bay, $902,894
  2. Sanibel Captiva $477,383
  3. Pelican Landing, $254,606
  4. Mediterra, $202,751
  5. Fiddlesticks, $169,224
  6. Grandezza, $141,564
  7. Shadow Wood, $140,818

Many United Way Partner Agencies were represented at the Goal Announcement. Kevin Lewis, Executive Director of LARC (Lee Association for Remarkable Citizens) spoke about United Way surpassing the $10 million goal. “When the United Way exceeds its goal, it excites LARC’s clients to know that they will have the needed support to meet their personal goals of being as independent and integrated into the community as possible.  No one can do it alone – the United Way does a great job of bringing people together to improve our community for all who live here, including the 300 people and families impacted by intellectual and developmental disorders that we serve. We are proud to be a United Way partner for almost 60 years.”

Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative shared the impact of United Way on Community Cooperative. “Community Cooperative prepares and delivers over 200,000 meals for our most vulnerable neighbors in need every year.  We could not do this without the support of the United Way who has been the major source of funding for our programs for over 20 years.  I have personally seen the impact their financial support has on our clients. Their mission helps us achieve our mission, and together we are able to make a real difference in our community.”

Sue Holman, President and CEO of Literacy Council Gulf Coast talked about the relationship of United Way and its Partner Agencies. “The United Way has been such an amazing support for the Literacy Council Gulf Coast.  We are grateful to be a United Way Partner Agency. Last year, with the support of the United Way and its donors, we were able to serve over 4,000 adults and children to improve their English language skills thus improving their lives and the lives of their families.”

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has raised and distributed over $167 million since it was established in 1957.  For more information please call United Way at (239) 433-2000 or visit www.UnitedWayLee.org.