United Way says thanks to its ‘Everyday Heroes’ for campaign

Former Lincoln Elementary School teacher Sally Morrison was honored with the 2018 Ray Vanderspool Volunteer of the Year Award at the United Way thank you luncheon on Wednesday, March 13.
Former Lincoln Elementary School teacher Sally Morrison was honored with the 2018 Ray Vanderspool Volunteer of the Year Award at the United Way thank you luncheon on Wednesday, March 13. Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

An enthusiastic United Way staff, funded partners and campaign chair team thanked the “Everyday Heroes” in the community that made it possible for them to not only reach, but exceed the agency’s 2018 campaign goal of $580,000 with a luncheon held Wednesday, March 13, at Huntington First Church of the Nazarene.

Darlene Stanley, of “Team Stanley,” the 2018 campaign chair team that spearheaded the fund-raising effort on behalf of United Way, said more than 100 businesses held company employee campaigns during the 2018 campaign.

“Across the community, employees gave when they received ‘the ask’ at their place of work,” she said. “In addition, many businesses had numerous other special events that made this campaign not only successful, but exciting and fun.”

In addition to raising 100 percent of the goal amount, $63,000 was matched during the campaign, as well as a $32,000 grant through Parkview Huntington Hospital for the Health & Wellness coalition and a $123,000 grant from the state of Indiana to expand preschool capacity in the county. The result increased the funds raised to more than $800,000.

United Way also recognized its board members, volunteers and those organizations funded by the donations raised.

The highlight of the ceremony, the presentation of the 2018 Ray Vanderspool Volunteer of the Year Award, went to former Lincoln Elementary School teacher Sally Morrison, who was honored for serving with United Way as the agency’s in-house chair and the hours she has put in on other volunteer opportunities throughout the community.

“(Morrison) seems to be busier in retirement than in her many years of teaching at Lincoln School,” said Brent Stanley. “She is hard at work in volunteering in the individual unit of the United Way campaign, as well as many other volunteer opportunities throughout the community and at Lincoln Elementary.”

The Bob Smith Campaign Volunteer Award went to the Gene Fleck Family and Innovative Packaging. Presented by Smith’s granddaughter, Casse Shiflett, and great-granddaughter, Kinley Shiflett, the award was accepted by Lori Cox, Carrie Miller and Chris Fleck on behalf of Gene Fleck.

Fleck is one of only two Tocqueville givers, or those who individually give greater than $10,000 toward the United Way campaign. Innovate Packaging averages 62 percent of employees who give to the campaign, which is above average for an industry of their size and type.

The Star Performer Award was presented to the City of Huntington, Human Resources Manager Ronda Smelser and the Fun Committee, recognizing their slogan, “We Serve Huntington” and the hard work and leadership they exercise in making the city a great place to live, work and play. The Fun Committee was singled out in making the United Way fund-raising campaign a success and increasing their average gift by $20 per donor.

Campaign Chair Awards went to Nicole Johnson of Edward Jones and Flint Springs Elementary School.

Johnson has served in numerous roles in United Way campaigns, including campaign chair in 2013 and honorary campaign chair in 2016.
Flint Springs Principal Aimee Lunsford and School Counselor Kelly Metzger accepted the award on behalf of the school. Flint Springs raised more than $2,000 over what was raised in the previous year, making their special event and employee giving the highest in school history.

Also, Joy Koch, who had been a part of the United Way staff for nearly six years as its donor development coordinator, was recognized for her service with a plaque and bouquet of flowers. Koch left the agency to join the staff of Parkview Huntington Family YMCA.

Orion McCormack was also introduced as the new donor development coordinator at United Way. He moved to Huntington from Tipton about four years ago.

“Since then I’ve been in the Special Olympics. I also participated in the Tri Kappa Follies event in 2017 and had met some amazing people,” he said. “I can’t wait to meet many more of you and see what we can do for the community.”

Finally, the announcement of the new campaign chairs capped the program, as the Stanleys tapped Edward Jones representatives Nicole Johnson, Jim Scheiber and John Nelson to take the helm of the 2019 United Way campaign.