The United Way of Central Kansas’ annual Pacesetter Luncheon Tuesday afternoon was all about saying thanks, said Gaila Demel, UWCK executive director. Honored were businesses who make significant contributions to the annual fund drive and the agencies that benefit from those much-needed donations.
“This event would not be possible without the support of local business partners who help make this occasion a special one for the businesses that we are honoring,” Demel told the crowd of business leaders and agency representatives gathered in the Best Western Angus Inn Courtyard. “We are honored to acknowledge this group of Business Leaders from the communities we serve.”
This event allows the community partners to express their appreciation for the support they receive from their Workplace Campaign generosity, she said. “When we have this opportunity to tell the stories on where and how the money from UWCK is used for those in need, we find a common ground of advocacy. The Workplace Campaign is a key component to our overall campaign and we are grateful for these companies and their partnership.”
The Pacesetter businesses are the top 15 payroll contributors. For the 2018 campaign, these businesses raised $135,000, or 49 percent of the $275,000 goal.
“The United Way of Central Kansas family is grateful to the group gathered here today,” said Demel. “Without your commitment, generosity and willingness, we would not be able to support the community agencies that we do.”
Among these 15 donors for last year’s effort, there were several special awards given during the fourth-annual Pacesetter luncheon.
• The top three Pacesetters for over-all giving were: CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions, gold; Dillons, silver; and Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball, bronze.
• The top three per-capita were: Spectrum CPA, LLC, gold; Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball, silver; and Northern Natural Gas, bronze.
• Rounding out the top 15 were: American State Bank, Benefit Management LLC, Farmers Bank and Trust, Great Bend COOP, Great Bend Regional Hospital, Marmie’s, Midwest Energy, ONEOK, Sunflower Electric, Superior Essex, USD 428 and Venture Corporation.
Also, American State Bank was recognized as having the highest percentage change over the previous campaign, with a 208 percent increase.
In addition, other honors included: The Great Bend Tribune was awarded the annual Media Award for its support in bringing Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Great Bend; the Center for Counseling was awarded the Oustanding New Workplace Campaign award for their new partnership with UWCK; and Jerry and Linda Marmie and David and Sherri Marmie were awarded the UWCK Leadership Award for their efforts towards the 2018 Campaign. This was Demel’s second UWCK campaign and she thanked these four for their leadership and advice.
To recognize those businesses who have 100 percent participation from their staff, UWCK partnered with Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers to award one of the companies with an ice cream party for their staff.
The four businesses in the running were Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball,Great Bend Children’s Learning Center (which won in 2017), Marmie’s, and Spectrum CPA. The winner this year was ABBB.
The UWCK 2019 campaign co-chairs are Barry and Monica Bowers, Patrick and Karisa Cowen and Kenny and Cindy Vink. Executive Board members include President Desa Marmie-Behr, Vice-president Mark Mingenback, Secretary Becca Maxwell and Treasurer John Cross.
UWCK covers all of Barton and Pawnee counties. It supports 23 agencies, and supports programs like Stuff the Bus, Boxes of Love, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Literacy Kits for all pre-kindergartners, Reality U, Crunch Out Obesity and Hands Only CPR.