United Way’s Day of Caring & Campaign Kickoff

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Each year, United Way Blackhawk Region invites community members to pledge financial gifts to combat societal ills and help address critical needs. As set by the volunteer board of directors, the 2021 community campaign goal is $2.3 million.
United Way's 2021 Campaign Champions: From left: LaSonda & Derek Hahn; Becky & John Wong

United Way’s 2021 Campaign Champions, from left, LaSonda & Derek Hahn; Becky & John Wong.

2021 community campaign goal set at $2.3 million

(Blackhawk Region) – United Way Blackhawk Region officially kicked off its annual community campaign and Day of Caring on Wednesday, September 22 at ABC Supply’s corporate hangar at the Southwest Wisconsin Regional Airport.

In lieu of a traditional breakfast gathering, more than 160 registered attendees were able to drive-thru the kickoff event which featured grab-and-go breakfast boxes catered by Best Events, announcement of the campaign goal, an opportunity to meet and have selfies taken with United Way Blackhawk Region Board members and the 2021 Campaign Champions.

Longtime United Way donors and advocates Derek and LaSonda Hahn, along with John and Becky Wong, were announced as Champions for the 2021 community campaign.

“It’s an honor to serve as co-Champions for the 2021 community campaign,” said Vice Chair of United Way Blackhawk Region’s Board of Directors, Derek Hahn. “Our call to action is clear. We are asking everyone in the Blackhawk Region to be a champion for change. Donations of any amount to United Way make a real difference and impact those who need it most, right here at home.”

Leslie Hulick, loaned executive from Blackhawk Community Credit Union and member of United Way Blackhawk Region’s Board of Directors, volunteered to again orchestrate logistics for Day of Caring. Nearly 350 volunteers will participate in Day of Caring, comprising 50 teams, assigned to 61 community service projects at 36 nonprofit agencies or community organizations.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Day of Caring safety measures include prioritizing outdoor projects, recommending PPE and social distancing for indoor projects, requiring sign-in sheets for any potential contact tracing, and careful scrutiny of projects that may effect vulnerable populations,” said Hulick. “While Day of Caring features fewer volunteers out of precaution, we are excited to see this day of service return – it’s a powerful demonstration of what it means to Live United.”

Each year, United Way Blackhawk Region invites community members to pledge financial gifts to combat societal ills and help address critical needs. As set by the volunteer board of directors, the 2021 community campaign goal is $2.3 million. In 2020, United Way Blackhawk Region raised $2,201,383, as well as $195,082 for the COVID-19 Action Fund. To learn more about United Way’s work and to make a contribution, visit LiveUnitedBR.org.

2021 United Way Blackhawk Region Campaign Video

About Derek and LaSonda Hahn, 2021 Community Campaign Champions

Derek and LaSonda Hahn live in Janesville with their two sons. They have been active in volunteerism and philanthropy in the area, including current involvement by Derek as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for United Way Blackhawk Region. He also serves on the Executive Committee and Finance Committee for the organization.

Derek’s other current board positions include the Beloit Health System Foundation and Commander of the Clinton Memorial VFW Post. His past board involvement includes the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce (Board Chair), the Beloit Janesville Symphony, and Beloit Regional Hospice.

Derek is a Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo Advisors in Janesville. He grew up in Clinton, WI, graduated from UW-Madison and served in the United States Army including multiple tours to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

LaSonda grew up in Janesville, graduating from J.A. Craig High School and UW-Rock County. She has worked helping low income individuals throughout southwest Wisconsin in her role as an Economic Support Specialist with Rock County Human Services for more than 20 years.

About John and Becky Wong, 2021 Community Campaign Champions

John and Becky Wong’s family live in Beloit. Their oldest son Kana is heading off to college, as their son Kai enters his Junior year at Beloit Memorial High School.

With more than 30 years of experience in the financial service industry, John is currently a Senior Vice President-Investment Officer for Wells Fargo Advisors. He enjoys volunteering in the community in a variety of capacities and currently serves on the Beloit Health System Board of Trustees and as president of the non-profit Kids Against Hunger-Rock County Rotary, Inc.

Becky, a licensed physical therapist, enjoys volunteering for Vets Roll, Beloit Regional Hospice, Sun Valley Presbyterian Church, the School District of Beloit, and many other community non-profits. When together, the family enjoys competitive games of any sort as well as vacationing, travel and golf.

About Day of Caring Sponsors

Day of Caring sponsor logos are included on the back of nearly 350 volunteer t-shirts, as 50 teams disperse across the region to work on 61 projects at 36 nonprofit agencies or community organizations.

United Way Blackhawk Region extends its appreciation to its Day of Caring sponsors: ABC Supply Co., Inc., Andritz, Baker Tilly, Blackhawk Bank, Blackhawk Community Credit Union, Culver’s of Beloit and Janesville, Data Dimensions, Ecolab, Fairbanks Morse Defense, First National Bank and Trust Company, Frito Lay, Mid-States Concrete Industries, Regal, Valmet, Wegner CPAs, Wells Fargo Advisors, and Thrivent Financial.

Also featured on Day of Caring t-shirts, are United Way Blackhawk Region’s annual marketing sponsors: Alliant Energy, Beloit Health System, BMO Harris Bank, Educators Credit Union, Johnson Financial Group, Kerry, and Mercyhealth.

About Us

United Way works hard to identify every donor and dollar possible to move the needle on tough-to-solve issues, our region’s most daunting social ills including poverty, hunger, homelessness, family violence, and addiction, to name a few.

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