United Way fetes 2018-19 campaign

Kyle Tanier, Van Buren County United Way campaign director, at right, presents awards to  three honorees representing businesses contributing to the 2019 campaign. They are, from left: Lisa Weurding, of Mol-Son, Mattawan,  Silver Award;  Cathy  Cowles, Western Diversified Plastics, Mattawan, Platinum Award; and Glenn Cowles, UPS, Silver Award. Courier-Leader photo/ Paul Garrod

   LAWRENCE - “Picture This!" was the theme of this year’s  Van Buren County United Way annual meeting and awards luncheon, held May 23, at the Van Buren Intermediate School District’s Conference Center in Lawrence. Attendees were asked to reflect upon the success of the past year and to look forward to the future with enhanced United Way services. The event celebrates the 2018-19 fundraising Campaign, and thanks the volunteers, service agencies and individuals who have supported United Way throughout the year.
   “Last year, United Way and its Partner Agencies responded to over 111,765 calls for assistance. We want to recognize our Partner agencies and their employees, who are working with people every day to help them better their lives,”said Vera E. Sebree, United Way executive director. “In addition, more than 1,079 individuals worked over 82,642 hours for United Way-supported or partnered programs.”
   United Way thanked the companies supporting the 2018-19 Campaign. “We could not continue our work to better our communities without their ongoing generosity, and we are so thankful for their support,” said Sebree.
   She also offered her heartfelt thanks for the past 12-plus-years of support from the Van Buren County community, companies, volunteers, and Partner Agencies “who make the difference for so many individuals impacted by United Way services.”
   This year’s awards included:
       • Bronze Award (UW Campaign totaling $4,000-9,999) - Consumers Energy, Meijer;
       • Silver Award (UW Campaign totaling $10,000-19,999) - Bronson LakeView Hospital, Mol-Son, Inc., UPS, Van Buren Community Mental Health Authority;
       • Gold Award (UW Campaign totaling $20,000-29,999) - MPI Research, a Charles River Company;
       • Platinum Award (UW Campaign totaling $30,000-49,999) - Western Diversified Plastics and Palisades/Entergy.   Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) volunteers were honored for their thousands of hours of service, which brought back more than $2.3 million in refunds, credits and saved preparation fees.
   For more information, contact Van Buren County United Way at (269) 657-2410.

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