Greater Ottawa County United Way announced adding a value of more than $8.5 million dollars to the community, a mix of donations of time and money.
HOLLAND (WHTC-AM/FM) — Greater Ottawa County United Way announced adding a value of more than $8.5 million dollars to the community, a mix of donations of time and money.
The nonprofit hosted an evening out Thursday, march 21, 2019, at the Trillium Center in Spring Lake with volunteers, supporters, and staff to celebrate.
The top workplace campaigns, by Haworth, Inc. and Shape Corp., raised nearly a half million dollars while 6,000-plus donors at 190 other companies pushed the total to more than $2 million, to which grants added another $1.5 million.
United Way President Patrick Moran said the volunteers are key to success.
“Together, united, we are making a substantial impact in Ottawa County in the areas of education, financial stability, health and meeting people’s basic needs,” he said. “The power of the United Way model lies in the leverage we can create by working with community partners, donors, volunteers, corporations and government entities. Due to this leverage, every $1 dollar donated to Greater Ottawa County United Way produces $3.70 in community benefit. Now, that’s a great investment.”
Great Lakes Casting received the Above and Beyond Award for its campaign and. United Way’s Out of the Box Award for the most creative approach to United Way support went to Falcon Corporation.
“It’s amazing to see the community come together in so many ways,” said Lyndsie Post, the current Campaign Chair. “Volunteering with partners, giving to the annual workplace campaign, creating the Leadership Challenge Matching Grant, and all of the work that happens with the many grants and individual leadership gifts, are just some of the ways that we’re working together to create lasting change. New impact opportunities through the United Way Housing Initiative Fund and the Young Leaders match are proof that this community will do what it takes to help our neighbors thrive and reach their full potential.”
Community Builder awards went to these 12 Ottawa County companies and organizations, meaning they met five key criteria for giving, advocating and volunteering within the community and on behalf of United Way: Anderson Technologies, Chemical Bank, Children’s Advocacy Center, Falcon Corporation, Fifth Third Bank, First National Bank of Michigan, Greater Ottawa County United Way, Grand Haven Custom Molding, JSJ Corporation, LightCorp, Macatawa Bank and Mercantile Bank.
For the third year, Ottawa County Leadership Challenge matched new gifts of $500 or more from anyone who lives in Ottawa County or works for an Ottawa County company that holds a workplace pledge drive. It also matches any increase in donation from those who gave at the leadership level last year. In the 2018-19 campaign, the challenge match reached its highest level: $93,500 from 16 donors. The challenge was met and exceeded, with $149,066 in match-eligible gifts.
The 2019 Lighthouse Leadership Circle consists of 663 gifts and pledges totaling $876,132.
New this year, young leaders (defined as those born in 1978 or later) who gave or pledged $250-$499had their gifts matched by the challenge to equal $500. As a result, 99 new young leaders have joined the Lighthouse Leadership Circle.
For the second consecutive year, Grand Haven Custom Molding, receiving the Lynne Sherwood Lighthouse Leadership Award, given to a United Way campaign company that demonstrates the greatest increase in leadership giving, or to an individual, couple or family whose community leadership sets an example for others to follow.
The 2019 Nonprofit Pinnacle of Partnership Award went to TCM Counseling for its collaborative United Way partnership. The recipients of this award exemplify a commitment to improve the quality of life for Ottawa County residents through leadership in service and education as well as a year round partnership with Greater Ottawa County United Way.
United Way’s Vice President of Community Impact Liz DeLaLuz also honored six community investment volunteers with 10-year service awards. Community Investment volunteers review applications, tour sites and make funding recommendations for United Way’s community partner programs.
Consumers Energy was presented with the G.W. Haworth Strength of the Community Award, given to those who ememplify “United Way’s leadership spirit of volunteering, philanthropy and community decision-making.”
Shannon LaHaie, United Way’s vice president of volunteer engagement, announced a total of 9,922 volunteers gave 107,375 hours of time, valued at $2.6 million via such United Way volunteer programs such as Day of Caring, Rake a Difference, Home for the Holidays, and Students Live United.
Grand Haven High School Senior Alexa McVoy, named this year’s Students LIVE UNITED (SLU) honoree, racked up 629.5 volunteer hours.
The 2019 Volunteer of the Year award went to Chris Streng for his servant leadership in our community. The Grand Haven native and U.S. Navy veteran and dad is a youth soccer coach, an American Red Cross blood donor, a United Way Community Investment panel leader and recently co-chaired — with his wife, Kristi — the Grand Haven Reimagine 2.0 project.
To learn more, visit www.OttawaUnitedWay.org or call (616) 396-7811.