United Way of the Big Bend Celebrates Campaign Finale

By: United Way of the Big Bend Release
By: United Way of the Big Bend Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 15, 2011 – Scores of organizations and individuals who “did something about it” were recognized and honored during United Way of the Big Bend’s (UWBB) Campaign Finale at Goodwood Museum and Gardens today.

More than 200 supporters filled the air with applause and cheers as the $6,334,905 campaign total was announced.

“Unprecedented uncertainty for many within our Big Bend region has been a fact of life this year,” said Mark O’Bryant, 2010 UWBB Campaign chair. “Ongoing struggles across our economy, election-driven challenges to our local-employment base, and ecological threats to our coastal communities are just a few of the major hurdles we have had to face during this year’s campaign. However, in spite of mounting hardships, we have been heartened to see so many sectors of our community significantly step up their support for United Way and the critical programs sponsored through their agencies. Once again, with their actions the people of the Big Bend showed their true colors of generosity.”

Commitment like this enables UWBB to continue meeting the rising demand for services – especially basic services such as food and shelter – with many seeking assistance for the very first time in their lives, said Heather Mitchell, UWBB resource development vice-president.

“People across the Big Bend are unquestionably devoted to taking care of each other, and it’s encouraging to see that local, community spirit when people are most in need,” Mitchell added. “Surpassing the $6.3 million mark is a great tribute to the thousands of Big Bend contributors who, despite tough times, continued to ‘Do Something About It.’”

The community depends on United Way to lead the way, commented UWBB president Ken Armstrong. Although these difficult times we’ve faced together have made our work more challenging, they have also made our work more important than ever.

The campaign’s most outstanding volunteers, coordinators and contributors were recognized throughout the evening. O’Bryant and Armstrong, along with everyone in attendance, expressed their gratitude on behalf the countless individuals and families who will receive help thanks to the generous support of donors and volunteers.
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“We partner with thousands of people throughout the year in dozens of ways to strengthen our community,” Armstrong said. “We couldn’t do it without you! We are so pleased to honor organizations and individuals who not only made a huge investment in their community, but made it with enthusiasm and generosity!”

Awards presented at the event were:
Pinnacle Award – Publix (raised $552,840)
Pillar Award – FSU (raised $429,852)
Cornerstone Awards
• Buckeye Florida (raised $149,640)
• Capital City Bank (raised $109,953)
• Capital Health Plan (raised $238,225)
• City of Tallahassee (raised $228,220)
• Leon County Government (raised $103,942)
• Leon County Schools (raised $109,395)
• Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (raised $180,483)
Most Improved Campaign – Leon County Schools – Schools Transportation
Most Innovative Campaign – City of Tallahassee
Best Partner Agency Campaign – Capital Area Community Action Agency
Most Outstanding New Campaign – Southern Medical Group
Most Outstanding Leadership Giving Campaign – Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic
Employee Campaign Coordinator of the Year – Jim English and Lew Shelley, City of Tallahassee
Most Outstanding Campaign (500+ Employees) – City of Tallahassee
Most Outstanding Campaign (100 - 499 Employees) – SunTrust Bank
Most Outstanding Campaign (99 or Fewer Employees) – Hancock Bank
Campaign Volunteer of the Year – Diana Cureton, SunTrust Bank
Most Improved Neighboring County Campaign – Doctors' Memorial Hospital
Most Outstanding New Neighboring County Campaign – Chemring Ordnance
Most Outstanding Neighboring County Leadership Giving Campaign – Nestlé Waters
Most Outstanding Neighboring County Campaign – St. Marks Powder
Most Outstanding Neighboring County Volunteers
• Willy Gamalero – Madison County Community Bank, Madison County
• Richard Huth – Doctors' Memorial Hospital, Taylor County
• Sherry Vanlandingham – Premier Bank, Gadsden County

“As always, the unsung heroes are the men and women who step up in so many ways, whether by donating through their workplace campaign, volunteering with outreach efforts or creating new avenues to engage local people,” Armstrong said. “Together, anything is possible, and that's why we're here today ... to recognize the strong bond our community has in helping each other.”
UWBB's Mission: United Way of the Big Bend unites and inspires local citizens in caring for one another and building a more vibrant community.


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