United Way celebrates campaign, volunteers

COLUMBIA CITY — The United Way of Whitley County recognized its volunteers and shared 2010 fundraising campaign results at a breakfast Tuesday morning at the Eagle’s Nest Event Center.John Black, executive director of the United Way of Whitley County, welcomed everyone to the breakfast and Dr. Lane Burgland of Faith Lutheran Church gave the invocation. After breakfast, Barb Bilger, president of the 2011 Board of Directors, recognized the volunteers, particularly Dalene Binkley, who volunteered in Black’s office. Carrie Hoffman of Indiana Wesleyan University, the 2010 campaign chair, and now the 2011 campaign chair, presented a four-minute video featuring Whitley County places, kids, and families. The video discussing hard times and how people can help by being united. Hoffman shared the United Way’s 2010 fundraising campaign results. The goal was to raise $288,000, and the projected amount raised is $210,000, a shortage of $78,000. The projected amount is due to some companies not paying their total pledges yet. This shortage means that the United Way is 35 percent from its goal, and the projected amount raised is 15 percent less than in 2009. The fundraising campaign 2011 goal has not been set yet, according to Hoffman. United Way hopes to set it by the end of March. It also hopes to have the thermometer set up on the Courthouse lawn to track the 2011 campaign’s fundraising progress.“The biggest reason why people don’t donate is because they’re not asked,” said Black. “The people – our volunteers – are what makes United Way work. We have an obligation to help the people of Whitley County.” Other members of the 2011 Board of Directors are Aimee Shimasaki (MartinRiley architects/engineers), vice president; Shawn Ellis (Beds & Britches, Etc.), secretary; Scott Gabriel (Parkview Health), Deb Roy (Crossroads Bank), Wendy Miller (Bloom, Gates, Sigler & Whiteleather), Melinda Woll (Edward Jones), Erica Miller (Whitley County YMCA), Joan Eberhart (South Whitley resident), Nancy Reiff (Reiff Construction), Lane Burgland, Emily Bilbruck (Advanced Assembly, LLC), and Kevin Rupp (Steel Dynamics, Inc.).