United Way Celebrates!
Oshkosh, March 5, 2018, 2018 – Anticipation filled the air as more than 200 people joined the Oshkosh Area United Way’s Community Celebration, which would include announcing the winner for 2017 Ford Focus sweepstakes. The car was the carrot used as an incentive to attract new donors or to encourage existing donors, to increase their giving in the United Way’s 2017 campaign.
The event recognized the success of the 2017 campaign and reported on the impact United Way funded programs have on individuals and families in the greater Oshkosh community.
The evening kicked off with Emcee Nicole Peterson leading the attendees in a game-style quiz which highlighted statistics about the needs in the community, as well as facts about the United Way.
Campaign Co-Chairs; father and daughter team Dennis and Annie Elmer, announced the results of the 2017 campaign, which raised $1,273,560, and how deeply appreciative the United Way is for every dollar raised. Various businesses and organizations which ran outstanding employee campaigns were recognized as were the gifts from a number of area foundations, and those companies that attained the 100% employee giving.
The Elmer campaign team laid a solid foundation for the 2018 campaign, which will be led by Co-chairs, Dr. Paul and Peg Larson. Dennis Elmer received special recognition for his efforts with the Life Service Award, presented by Executive Director Susan Panek. Elmer has been involved in the United Way since 1996 when he chaired his first campaign. According to Panek, “This is Dennis’ second time chairing the campaign and now joins John L. Vette in the elite class of individuals who have chaired two campaigns in their lifetime.”
A new strategy put in place as the agency looks towards the next campaign is the establishment of the Leadership Council. This group of executives has made a commitment to assist the United Way in reaching out to more companies on a peer-to-peer basis in an effort to increase the number of companies that support the United Way campaign.
In 2017, the OAUW invested $1,184,753 in community programs and initiatives. Jennifer Skolaski, Board Vice-Chair of Allocations and Community Impact, shared the enhanced priorities the OAUW is moving toward including mental health, access to jobs that pay a living wage and early learning pre-natal to age 10.
The Board also instituted a new award this year, The Sue Panek Community Impact Award. The award recognizes an individual or group who have made a significant impact in the community. This year, the award was presented to Kari Wanish and Dennis Resop representatives of the local National Association of Letter Carriers union for 25 years of conducting the Letter Carriers Food Drive to benefit local food pantries.
As the celebration came to a close, the winner of the 2017 Ford Focus Car Sweepstakes, was announced. Moss Ruedinger, increased his contribution to the annual campaign through his payroll deduction with Oshkosh Corporation. Moss was among five finalists in the running to win the car and was randomly selected as the winner. The car was donated by Bergstrom Automotive.
The annual funding allocation process is underway and the 2018 Annual United Way Campaign will kick off in August of this year. United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community. For more information visit www.oshkoshunitedway.org.