United Way presents special honors
Three special awards were given at the first-ever United Way of Central Kansas Pacesetter Luncheon Thursday afternoon. The awards and the recipients were:
• Tocqueville Society honoree – Ron, Jane and Chris Smith from Smith Supply.
This United Way award is known nationally, and requires not only outstanding contribution but time and talent given to the local United Way. This is an award that is rarely given out and it is quite an honor to receive this award. Ron Smith has been instrumental in helping UWCK Director Julie Bugner-Smith revive the oilfield Division of United Way. Ron has spent countless hours promoting United Way and believes in its mission and the community as a whole. The Oilfield division once the leader in giving had waned in the past years, but with Ron’s leadership it has increase it giving form a mere $9,000 to over $30,000 in the 2015 campaign. The Smiths are not only community leaders but great individuals who are making a difference.
• Outstanding New Workplace Campaign – Country Living of Larned and Director Laura Smith.
Country Living of Larned under the leadership of Laura Smith, became a new payroll company in the 2015 Campaign. The company matched contributions and out of the nine giving payroll employees along with Country Living corporate match, $1,700 was raised.
Laura and Jim Smith were outstanding 2015 co-chairs and the both communicated the need for United Way and its community partners in Pawnee County.
• Media Award – Dale Hogg of the Great Bend Tribune
This award was given to Dale Hogg at the Great Bend Tribune. He has been a longtime advocate of United Way of Central Kansas. Hogg promotes UWCK and their community partners along with its mission statement, and he embodies it every day with his volunteerism in our community. “I could not think of a more deserving individual for this award and proud to call him a friend,” said UWCK Executive Director Julie Smith.
The United Way of Central Kansas hosted its first-ever Pacesetter Luncheon to honor the 2014 campaign’s top 15 payroll companies and other honorees Thursday afternoon.
Over 70 individuals crowded into the at the Best Western Courtyard, including UWCK Board members, 2015 co-chairs Dr. Perry and Krista Smith, and Laura Smith and several of the UWCK community partners.
Pacesetters are the top companies that support United Way not only through payroll deductions, but also hold fundraisers throughout the year and sponsor events that the United Way hosts, said Rick Chochon in his address at the luncheon. Chochon serves as the pacesetter co-chair and is United Way Board member
The celebration also honored the top three overall givers, the top three per capita donating companies, and the first-ever leader of the year, the first-ever outstanding workplace campaign winner and media award recipient.
“These organizations set the standard,” Chochon said of the pacesetters. “They are a very important part of the United Way campaign.”
In the inaugural year, the pacesetters accounted for $149,000 of the $302,000 raised, he said. “This is a solid foundation from which to build.”
Chochon brought this concept with him from Columbus, Neb. It recognizes the top payroll companies with special recognition throughout the year.
“All of the companies that allow the United Way of Central Kansas to come in and give presentations and are willing to participate in our annual Payroll Campaign are vital to our campaign every year,” said United Way of Central Kansas Executive Director Julie Bugner Smith. “Without these generous payroll companies, we would not be able to support our 19 community agencies the way that we do.”
The funds also help support other programs such as the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and the Born Learning Trail and Crunch Out Obesity.
The Top Givers were: First, CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions; second, Dillons stores in Great Bend and Larned; and third, Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball.
The top three per capita donating companies were: Adams, Brown, Beran, and Ball; Midwest Energy; and Great Plains Inspection.
There UWCK Tocqueville Society Leader of the Year award went to Smith Supply LLC, and the first Outstanding Workplace Campaign winner was Country Living of Larned. Dale Hogg from the Great Bend Tribune received the Media award.
Overall, Payroll Deduction Pledges are almost 60 percent of total money raised.
The theme for the 2015 campaign was “Pay it Forward” and the Volunteers in Action volunteers Reta Brack, Deon Lupton, Grace Bell and Alice Walker demonstrated this in helping serve at the lunch.
The Top 15 Payroll Companies for 2015 were:
CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions
Dillons Stores No. 3, No. 9, and No. 51 (Great Bend and Larned)
Adams, Brown, Beran, and Ball
Great Bend Regional Hospital
Farmers Bank and Trust
Great Bend Farm Equipment
Benefit Management, Inc.
The campaign coordinators for these honorees were:
Adams Brown Beran and Ball – Gail Lust
Barton County – Jessica Wilson
BMI – Denise Wilkens
CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions – Erika Brining
Dillons 3 – Dustin Danler
Dillons 51 – Carrie Amerince
Dillons 9 – Wendy Ibarra, Ricki Mullett
Farmers Bank & Trust – Tayla Willinger and Karesa Harrison
Great Bend Farm Equipment – Carol Hopkins
Great Bend Regional Hospital – Paula Mauler & Jacquie Disque
Fuller Industries – Elaine Grabhorn, Ellen Moran, Joyce Finnigan, Judy Krebaum, Linda Bonewell, Nadine Jones and Vicky Morrison
Linde – Linda Bahr
Marmies – Desa Marmie Behr
Midwest Energy – James Wright
Straub International – Dennis Burgardt and Kristy Straub
Superior Essex – Jennifer Dixon
USD 428 – Alana Blessing - Park School, Charlotte Hall-Riley, Bernie Hartig - GBMS, Vicki McCulley - Eisenhower, Paige Stegman - Jefferson, Stephanie Webster - Lincoln, Randy Wetzel - GBHS and Jennifer Schartz - Central Office
Great Plains Inspection – Tonna Thomas