By THE COURIER STAFF
The bar has been set another notch higher for future United Way of Hancock County campaigns.
This year’s effort broke another record and finished at $3,020,497, an increase of $157,664 or 5.5 percent from last year, campaign officials announced Tuesday.
An additional $95,000 was raised for United Way’s Halt Hunger initiative, bringing the total amount raised during the 2013 campaign to $3,115,497.
As in years past, the goal was to exceed the previous year’s effort. Last year’s campaign raised $2.8 million.
Gene Stevens, this year’s campaign chairman, announced the results at a celebration Tuesday at the Findlay Country Club.
“You guys made my job real easy,” Stevens told campaign division chairs. “… If you surround yourself with good people, the job is simple.”
John Urbanski, president and CEO of United Way of Hancock County, said, “I would like to personally thank Gene Stevens and his outstanding cabinet for making this a record-breaking year. Their energy and commitment along with the efforts of the United Way staff have set the bar high for future campaigns. We are blessed to have such a committed group of men and women who help bring out the best in our community.”
Several campaign divisions exceeded their goals or had other notable achievements, it was reported at Tuesday’s meeting.
The corporate division raised $100,000 more than last year, and the commercial division raised $73,930, an increase of more than $12,000 from last year.
The mercantile division had numerous first-time donors, the professional division exceeded its goal, and the rural division more than doubled the amount it raised from the previous year.
Campaign totals by division were:
• Commercial — $73,930. The division includes car dealerships, contractors, grocery stores and more. It was chaired by Suzie Reineke.
• Corporate — $2,422,018. This division includes all major corporations in Hancock County. Brian Brown was chairman.
• Education — $57,515. The division includes city schools, private schools and higher education institutions. It was chaired by Barb Bish.
• FIRE — $102,926. The division includes financial institutions, and insurance and real estate companies. Chairman was Matt Hull.
• Health — $142,133. The health division includes doctors, dentists, Blanchard Valley Health System, and health services companies such as long-term care facilities. It was co-chaired by Karen and Dave Eubanks.
• Mercantile — $32,047. This division includes small businesses and restaurants. It was chaired by Beth Waddell.
• Professional — $32,885. The division includes attorneys, accountants, ministers and veterinarians. It was co-chaired by Christie Ranzau and Pam Lather.
• Public — $57,513. This division includes nonprofit organizations, and city and county employees. Chairman was Brian Robertson.
• Independent — $62,134. The independent division includes retirees, individuals who work from their home or are independent companies. Chairman was David Cassidy.
• Rural — $37,396. This division includes farmers, small businesses and schools outside of Findlay. Chairman was Jerry Silveus.
This year’s leadership chair was Garry Peiffer. Leadership donors are members of the Gaslight Society and give at a level of $750 or above annually.
The funds will be distributed to programs and services through grants that are reviewed by citizens who serve on volunteer impact teams.
Partner agencies that are eligible to apply for funding include: American Red Cross-Hancock County Chapter, Boy Scouts of America-Black Swamp Area Council, CASA/GAL of Hancock County, Camp Fire of Northwest Ohio, Challenged Champions Equestrian Center, Century Health, Cancer Patient Services, Children’s Mentoring Connection, Dental Center of Northwest Ohio, Family Resource Center, Findlay Family YMCA, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, Hancock County Saves, Hancock-Hardin-Wyandot-Putnam Community Action Commission, Hope House for the Homeless, Kidney Foundation of Northwest Ohio, Open Arms Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services, Salvation Army and West Ohio Food Bank.
Funds are also used for United Way operations.
Halt Hunger Initiative funds are used for programs to assist hungry families in Hancock County.
For more information or to serve on an impact team, contact the United Way office at 419-423-1432 or visit http://LiveUnitedHancockCounty.org.