(BLACKHAWK REGION) – United Way Blackhawk Region kicked off its annual community campaign at an event on Wednesday, September 14 at ABC Supply Stadium, home field of the Beloit Sky Carp. The breakfast was attended by more than 375 United Way supporters, corporate partners, and Day of Caring volunteers.
At the breakfast kickoff, President & CEO of United Way Blackhawk Region Mary Fanning-Penny reflected on the 10th anniversary of the unification of the former Stateline United Way and United Way of North Rock County. “The respective boards of each envisioned a unification that could more efficiently serve the needs of our vulnerable neighbors. With the support of corporate partners, loyal donors, and nonprofits alike, the vision became the reality that continues to serve us today.”
Fanning-Penny shared impressive statistics about United Way Blackhawk Region’s impact over the past 10 years, “We’ve invested more than $20.7 million dollars in 174 unique nonprofit programs. We’ve driven a hard line on accountability and our funded partners have joined us on this journey, fine-tuning their outcomes measurement – providing 1,418,402 health and human services to our friends, neighbors, and fellow community members of the Blackhawk Region.”
A commemorative 10th anniversary logo with the tagline “United We are Stronger” was revealed, as well as a special edition Annual Report, available at LiveUnitedBR.org/Report. The highlight of the morning was United Way’s exciting unveiling of a new, “GIVE & WIN Sweepstakes.” In celebration of the 10th anniversary, local businesses sponsored attractive prizes to inspire new and increased gifts to the annual community campaign.
Donors who give new or increased gifts of $25 or more will automatically be entered to win Badgers basketball tickets donated by Derek and LaSonda Hahn family; a Celebrate Beloit package donated by Geronimo Hospitality; or Beloit Sky Carp tickets donated by First National Bank and Trust Company.
Donors who give new or increased gifts of $50 or more will automatically be entered to win a Green Bay Packers fan experience donated by Kerry; Sundara spa day donated by Baker Tilly; or a family four pack of bicycles donated by Velocity Multi-Sport and Cycling.
Donors who give new or increased gifts of $75 or more will automatically be entered to win a $5,000 cash prize sponsored by Fairbanks Morse Defense.
Donors who give new or increased gifts of $100 or more will automatically be entered to win a 2022 Jeep Renegade Latitude sponsored in part by an anonymous partner with in-kind support from Burtness – Orfordville / Whitewater. The Sweepstakes top prize was parked inside ABC Supply Stadium for attendees to view.
Fanning-Penny noted, “prizes donated by our corporate partners are over and above their generous campaign contributions. The Sweepstakes is not reducing resources to meet the needs of our community but instead helping to attract new audiences and generate additional dollars for Community Grants.” Full details and official Sweepstakes rules are available at LiveUnitedBR.org/Sweepstakes.
Also announced at breakfast was United Way’s 2022 campaign goal to exceed $2 million dollars, as approved by the volunteer board of directors. The annual fundraising drive supports the more than $3.1 million dollars’ worth of community grants and initiatives United Way Blackhawk Region has committed to in its July 2021 – June 2023 grant cycle.
Homage was paid to United Way’s volunteer leadership with the recognition and reunion of Board Chairs spanning a decade. Serving 2012 through 2013, Dan Piché, L&W Supply; 2014, Lynn Gardinier, Baker Tilly; 2015 Phil Smith, Andritz; 2016 through 2018, Jon Schlemmer, Modine Manufacturing; 2019 through 2020, Al Hulick, City of Milton; 2021, Tom McCawley, Beloit Health System; and current 2022 Board Chair, Derek Hahn, Wells Fargo Advisors.
At the conclusion of breakfast, Fanning-Penny reminded attendees, “when we give, we all win.”
About United Way’s Day of Caring
United Way’s Day of Caring is traditionally held every year in conjunction with the campaign kickoff. It is a day of action that mobilizes volunteer teams to complete service projects at local schools, parks, and nonprofit agencies. Mike Stormes, Day of Caring volunteer and a loaned executive from Mulehide Products helped facilitate a successful return to the in-person event. After two years pause from the traditional format due to the pandemic, 566 volunteers have been assigned to work on 47 projects across the Blackhawk Region. Day of Caring is made possible by United Way’s sponsors and 36 companies that afford employees the time to volunteer. Hosting projects are 39 nonprofit and community organizations, which organizers said, dedicate a great deal of time and energy to ensure volunteers enjoy a positive experience.
About United Way Blackhawk Region
United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. We win by Living United, by forging unlikely partnerships and by finding new solutions to old problems; by mobilizing the best resources; and inspiring individuals to join the fight against a common foe, each community’s most daunting social crises. United Way Blackhawk Region Lives United against poverty, family violence, hunger and homelessness to name a few, by providing community grants and resources to more than 35 human services programs at 20 nonprofit agencies in Rock County, Wis. and northern Winnebago County, Ill. More information is available at LiveUnitedBR.org.