LAWRENCE - Van Buren County United Way celebrated its 2012-13 fundraising campaign during its annual meeting and awards luncheon, held Tuesday, May 14, at the Van Buren Intermediate School District’s Conference Center in Lawrence.
The meeting was attended by more than 90 representatives of local service agencies, corporate and individual supporters, and volunteers.
This year’s theme, “The Missing Piece,” focused on how every company, agency and individual plays a part in supporting the community.
“Van Buren County United Way and its Partner Agencies had over 145,000 points of contact with individuals in need last year,” said Vera Tanier, executive director. “This does not include the work done by non-partner agencies such as DHS. If it weren’t for United Way, its Partner Agencies and other local non-profits working together, there would literally be more than 100,000 needs left unmet in Van Buren County.”
Tanier also stressed the important piece that volunteers play. “In addition to the dedication of United Way and other non-profit staff, tens of thousands of volunteer hours were committed to making Van Buren County a better place to work and live.”
United Way recognized those volunteers, as well as the local employees and companies who participated in its 2012-13 campaign. Awards included:
•Bronze Award (UW Campaign totaling $4,000-$9,999)
Bronson Nursing & Rehabilitation, Chemical Bank, Consumers Energy, Fifth Third Bank, Kellogg Company, PNC Bank, and UPS.
•Silver Award (UW Campaign totaling $10,000-$19,999)
Bronson LakeView Hospital, Coca-Cola Refreshments, Mol-Son, Inc., South Haven Health System, Van Buren Intermediate School District, Van Buren Community Mental Health Authority, and Western Diversified Plastics.
•Platinum Award (UW Campaign totaling $30,000-$49,999)
MPI Research and Pfizer Corporation
•Diamond Leadership Award ($50,000+ campaign)
•Over the Edge Awards were presented to campaigns that increased to the next level of giving.
Mol-Son, Inc. moved from Bronze to Silver; South Haven Health System moved from Bronze to Silver; Van Buren ISD moved from Bronze to Silver; and Pfizer Corporation moved from Gold to Platinum.
Palisades/Entergy went over $75,000 in employee and corporate giving.
The Campaign Fun Award was presented to Chemical Bank and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group for their fun and creative campaign fundraising events, ac-cording to Tanier.
The On-Time Campaign Award was presented to Molly Wunderlich, United Way campaign coordinator at the Van Buren District Library.
Western Diversified Plastics received the Beacon Award, for a first-time campaign that in-cluded 68.8% employee participation and giving at the Silver level.
The Shining Star traveling Trophy was again won by Hartford Public Schools, for 27% employee participation in the United Way campaign. The Van Buren ISD was honored as Shining Star runner-up with 10.5% participation.
Tom Shoemaker was presented the “Who You Gonna Call?” Award for outstanding service to United Way, the VITA free tax program, and the community.
United Way also honored Laura Crosbie of Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan as its Volunteer of the Year, for her hours of dedicated service in the coordination of more than 30 Girl Scout troops who collected donations at all sites of the United Way Stuff the Bus Food Pantry Drive.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) volunteers were honored for their thousands of hours of service, and Karen and Carrie Klimp were recognized for their year-round volunteerism at the United Way office.
Retiring United Way Board members Glenn Cowles and Ryan Conboy were also honored for their service.