United Way of Greater Lorain County Kicks Off Annual Campaign with Invitation to the Community to Join in the Work

8.17.18 - United Way of Greater Lorain County kicked off its annual campaign Friday with a free event at Mike Bass Ford, with a goal of motivating donors and partners to recruit others to join in supporting the organization’s initiatives.
“We need the community’s help in fighting for the health, education, and financial stability of low-income working families in our community,” said United Way of Greater Lorain County executive director Bill Harper. “We believe Greater Lorain County can be engaging, inclusive, and thriving if we all set aside our individual agendas and collaborate to solve these complex social problems.”
United Way’s focus was highly visible as each of the 11 Community Collaboratives that the organization supports held interactive stations for the guests. The stations, which ranged from classroom yoga demonstrations to fine motor skills activities, were a fun way to illustrate small initiatives that can be implemented as part of a larger collaborative to impact the community.
“The purpose of our Campaign Kickoff event is to offer fun and meaningful opportunities for the community to connect with the work of our Community Collaboratives so they can see where their donations are going,” said Harper. “The work starts now on the annual fundraising campaign so that we can sustain and expand this important work as needed.”
United Way has looked to collaborate in order to achieve better results by pooling resources and supporting capacity building within the agencies that lead the collaboratives. As a result, United Way’s work with the Community Collaboratives has received prominent local and national attention over the past few years, ranking in the top ten nationally for United Ways of similar size and being named the Ohio United Way of the Year for 2016.
In addition to dollars raised through the annual fundraising campaign, United Way and its more than 150 collaborative partners work together to leverage additional funds through outside grants. With this model in place, More than 50 cents is added to each dollar raised through the annual campaign. 
This year’s campaign is chaired by Stacy Kilgore, senior healthcare business manager at PolyOne Corporation. The Campaign Cabinet also includes Tim Alcorn of AM 930 WEOL, Keith Brown of LCCC, Brad Calabrese of UH Avon Health Center, Peggy Chamberlain, retired, Amonica Davis of the Nordson Corporation Foundation, Tanya de Almeida of the Ford Ohio Assembly Plant, Marge Little, retired, Kyle Maurer of Fiber-Seal and Kosta Mathiellis of the Cleveland Clinic. 
The free lunchtime event was hosted by Alcorn and featured United Way supporters and community members wearing Live United t-shirts and enjoying grilled hamburgers and hotdogs sponsored by Mike Bass Ford. Side dishes were prepared by the LCCC Culinary Arts Program and desserts from the Residence Inn by Marriot at the Emerald Event Center in Avon. Entertainment was provided by Just Dreaming Entertainment, local mascots including Slider from The Cleveland Indians, and the Lorain High School Marching Band.
This year marks the eighth consecutive campaign that has kicked off at Mike Bass Ford as part of a strong relationship between the dealership and United Way of Greater Lorain County.
Those interested in getting involved with this year’s campaign can learn more at uwloraincounty.org. Upcoming opportunities include the Week of Caring from Sept. 10 through 16 which will include a variety of volunteer projects throughout Greater Lorain County.