RACINE — More than 300 volunteers, donors and corporate representatives attended United Way of Racine County’s Victory Celebration on Jan. 23. The evening celebrated the community’s support of United Way’s work to build an educated workforce, honored United Way contributors and appreciate successes from 2019.
Steven McLaughlin, United Way of Racine County board chair, opened by acknowledging United Way’s board of directors, campaign cabinet and advisory council, Women United executive committee, volunteer advisory teams and impact partners. “While we’re proud of the work United Way does, we know we will never be as effective on our own as we are when we unite with other organizations. It takes all of the programs and services provided by our impact partners to build an educated workforce,” McLaughlin said.
United Way President and CEO Ali Haigh shared the impact that the community’s collaboration made on Racine County over the last year. During United Way’s annual volunteer and fundraising event, Do More 24, 350 donors raised more than $39,000 for 55 Racine County nonprofits in just 24 hours.
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In the fall, United Way introduced a second community school to Racine County: Julian Thomas. Meanwhile, its first community school, Knapp Elementary, saw a 35% attendance increase at Community Nights and continues to progress in academic achievement. I
n November, Imagination Library surpassed a total of 200,000 books mailed to Racine County children, more than 50,000 of which were mailed during 2019. And during the 2019 tax season, VITA volunteers helped Racine County residents receive more than $1,125,000 in tax returns.
“All of this, to me, really exemplifies our community’s ability to strengthen relationships and build new bridges,” Haigh said. “Racine is full of kindhearted, generous individuals who bring the time and ability to help our community reach towards its highest potential.”
Haigh acknowledged United Way’s 150 employee campaign coordinators and contributing organizations, which supported United Way through employee campaigns, corporate gifts, and fundraising events. She also recognized the Chairman’s Club, consisting of 12 organizations that raise $50,000 or more annually:
- Andis Company
- CNH Industrial
- Educators Credit Union
- IDEAL Industries
- Johnson Financial Group Johnson Outdoors, Inc.
- Modine Manufacturing Company
- Racine Unified School District
- SC Johnson
- Twin Disc, Inc.
- We Energies
A number of exceptional contributors received the following awards:
- Employee Campaign Coordinators of the Year: Tami McIntosh, Gordon J. Maier & Company; Jon Allred, Skogen’s Festival Foods; and Amy Garrigan and Debra Karp, U.W. Parkside.
- Live United Awards: Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee; Racine Family YMCA; and Burlington Area School District
- Michael Batten Advancing the Common Good Award: Art Howell
- SC Johnson Loyal Contributor Award: David Insurance Agency
- Chairman’s Award: Racine County Food Bank
Following Haigh’s presentation, Jim Popp, CEO of Johnson Financial Group and United Way campaign chair, presented a final award to Racine County Food Bank — the Chairman’s Award. “Racine County Food Bank has run a United Way campaign for more than 25 years. Their participation rate is always at 100%, and their campaign dollars increase each year. Though Dan and his team are small, they consistently raise the bar for pledges and show the community what it means to Live United,” Popp said.
Popp then announced United Way’s 2020 campaign chair — Lisa Just, east corridor patient service area president and president of Aurora Medical Center of Kenosha for Advocate Aurora Healthcare.
United Way of Racine County shared its 2019 campaign results at the close of the event: a projected $5 million raised. This amount represents the total support of the community, which includes the United Way campaign, donor-designated funds, and restricted funds.