With strong support throughout the community, United Way of Greater Cincinnati has pulled off a major feat in its Centennial year, hitting goal and raising $62,000,053, the first time the campaign has grown by $1 million since 2007.
"We all believed it important in our Centennial year that we achieve goal and renew the path to expanding critical services that make a difference in so many people’s lives,” said United Way campaign chair Kevin T. Kabat, vice chairman and CEO, Fifth Third Bancorp. “United Way’s messages were shared, and our community responded as Greater Cincinnati always does – with unparalleled generosity. Your contributions of time, talent and treasure have been extraordinary.
Kabat announced the 2015 campaign result to more than 750 energetic volunteers, donors, advocates, agency and community partners, and staff attending the finale luncheon at Duke Energy Convention Center.
“Reaching this goal in our Centennial year is a major accomplishment and a testament to the incredible generosity of this community—one which recognizes the importance of ensuring children get off to a strong start and achieve success in school, families have the financial stability that can come with gainful employment, and individuals lead healthy lives,” said Robert C. Reifsnyder, president, United Way of Greater Cincinnati. “Whether you contributed a Centennial Society gift or a dollar a week, we thank you.”
2015 marks the second consecutive campaign to include an Accelerator Fund that allows donors to make targeted, multi-year investments in proven strategies designed to produce lasting change. These strategies are focused on home visiting, universal quality preschool and career pathways. This year, more than $1.8 million has been committed to the fund by 20 companies, organizations and foundations.
“I want to thank Kevin Kabat for his time and dedication to leading this year’s campaign. He has spearheaded the effort to focus our community’s resources and accelerate progress towards the Bold Goals through his leadership,” said Carl Satterwhite, president/owner, RCF Group, and chair of United Way’s Board of Directors. “Kevin has personally reached out to many people in the community to deliver our message about the importance of sustainable growth to position our community for greatness throughout the next 100 years.”
In honor of its Centennial Year, United Way recognized at the event 100 companies and organizations that have made a difference through their increased giving and volunteering.
AdvancePierre Foods was recognized as the top new business, with P&G the number one among the Top 25 supporters and Katz Teller the number one Tremendous 25 supporter (the 25 highest per capita giving companies with at least 25 employees and 55 percent participation).
The event included the presentation of the Clement L. Buenger Award for Leadership in Education to Felicity resident Tracy Foley for her passion to ensure every child succeeds academically. A full-time school volunteer, Mrs. Foley has been involved in the community for several years in efforts including Girl Scouts, PTO and classroom assistance at Felicity-Franklin Schools. Her most significant activity has been organizing after-school clubs through the Felicity Middle School Caring Parent Council. The interest-based clubs, which received startup funds from United Way, are offered at no cost to all students in fifth through eighth grades.
The Corporate Heroes awards, which previously honored the top two performing companies whose employees gave their time and talents back to the community through volunteer hours, added a third award for 2015. LyondellBasell was presented with the award for the highest per capita volunteer hours accumulated for a company with 10-200 employees, Ernst & Young LLP was honored for a company with 200-500 employees and Pomeroy honored for a company with more than 500 employees.
“So far in 2015, more than 270 local companies have dedicated nearly 70,000 hours to volunteering, giving people a first-hand look at the initiatives, programs and community partners their contributions support,” said Kevin Carroll, group manager at P&G, and chair of United Way Volunteer Connection.
Although not in attendance at the event, Ted Torbeck, president and CEO, Cincinnati Bell, was announced by Kabat as the 2016 Campaign Chair.
As is the case every year, the dollar total announced includes contributions already turned in or reported, as well as estimated or conservative projected final figures on a number of campaigns still underway. About 80 percent of the campaign has been processed or officially reported. The remaining amount is projected, based on campaigns underway or yet to start, and must be finalized in the next few months.
“It’s important to realize that there’s still time left to make an impact,” said Reifsnyder. “Companies and individuals who haven’t finished their campaigns or pledged yet still have the opportunity to do so. It is essential to continue to raise every dollar possible to help children succeed academically, support healthy lifestyles, and help families and individuals achieve financial stability.”
United Way of Greater Cincinnati invests the money raised from the annual campaign in more than 280 programs, initiatives and community change efforts. The campaign is a fundraising partnership of United Way of Greater Cincinnati and the Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region of the American Red Cross. Investments will be announced in December and will support the Bold Goals for Our Region.
The campaign began on August 26.