The companies honored during the United Way of Central Kansas’ Pacesetter luncheon Wednesday afternoon were responsible for over half of the local United Way’s 2016 goal.
“The United Way of Central Kansas family is grateful to the group gathered here today. Without your commitment, generosity, and willingness, we would not be able to support the Community Agencies that we do,” UWCK Executive Director Julie Bugner-Smith said. The top 15 business payroll deduction donors raised $137,971 of the $275,000 target.
These include Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball; Barton County, Benefit Management Inc.; CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions; Dillons No. 3, Dillons No. 9 and Dillons No. 51 in Great Bend and Larned; Farmers Bank and Trust; Fuller Industries; Great Bend Regional Hospital; Marmie’s; Midwest Energy; Nationwide Insurance; Northern Natural Gas, Bushton; Pawnee Valley Community Hospital; St. Rose Health Center; Superior Essex; and USD 428.
“It takes a village,” she said. “You are all important.”
“We are successful as a team because we are a team,” said Mark Mingenback, UWCK board vice-president. “This is huge. You are the reason we’ve grown.”
UWCK had covered all of Barton and Pawnee counties, except the City of Hoisington. But, that has changed this year as Hoisington joined the fold.
Wednesday’s event marked the second-annual luncheon recognizing these important contributors. Representatives of United Way, Pacesetter businesses and many of the 23 agencies UWCK supports gathered in the Best Western Angus Inn courtyard to celebrate the Pacesetter program.
Three Pacesetters were honored for their overall contributions. Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball earned the bronze award, Dillons earned the silver and CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions earned gold.
Three others were honored for having the highest per-capita contributions. Northern Natural Gas earned bronze, ABB&B silver and Nationwide Insurance gold.
Also, Foley Equipment received the outstanding new workplace campaign award, Eagle Communications the media award, Great Bend Regional Hospital the highest percent increase award, and past UWCK Co-chairs Jim and Kathi Armatys the leadership award.
In addition, the 2016 campaign coordinators were recognized. They include Seresa Arndt, Charlotte Hall, Heather Sizemore, Alana Blessing, Brenda Kaiser, Paige Stegman, Richard Boeckman, Brenda Langdon, Ryan Streck, Linda Bonewell, Gail Lust, Cindy Suchy, Erika Brining, Desa Marmie-Behr, Stephanie Webster, Jennifer Dixon, Vicki McCulley, Randy Wetzel, Joyce Finnigan, Gerrie Meyer, Denise Wilkens, Carol Gotsche, Vicky Morrison, Casey Winter, Elaine Grabhorn, Jennifer Schartz and James Wright.
The kickoff for the 2017 campaign is Aug. 13 with the same goal of $275,000.
The 2017 campaign co-chairs are Chuck and Meg Wilson, Kevin and Kista Holt, and Cole and Regan Reif. Executive Board members include President Desa Marmie-Behr, Secretary Erika Brining, Vice-President Mark Mingenback and Treasurer John Cross, Board members are Dianne Call, Carol Dema, Tatum Dunekack, Jane Fox, Tama Hanson, Bill Lowry, Becca Maxwell, Leslie Mingenback, Regan Ochs-Reif, Laura Smith, Ron Smith, Kevyn Soupiset and Karen Van Brimmer.
There were also presentations by Cole and Regan Reif on the UWCK Literacy Kits program, Diane Call on Stuff the Bus and Gail Nielsen and Linn Hogg on the new Boxes of Love initiative.
However, there is more to a United Way campaign, Smith said.
“These Pacesetter companies do a large portion of the work to get us to our goal each year, but without the other payroll companies and individual donors in our community, we would not be able to reach our goal every year,” she said. “Every dollar makes a difference, and we need the community’s support to reach our goal again this year as the demands on these agencies keeps increasing.”