United Way of Central Florida

United Way of Central Florida Kicks off 2016 Campaign!

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United Way of Central Florida
Kicks Off 2016 Campaign

Winter Haven, FL, September 8, 2016 – In front of more than 500 donors and supporters, the United Way of Central Florida kicked off its 2016 annual campaign at LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Haven. This year’s Co-Chairs of the campaign, Wesley and Ashley Barnett, announced that the United Way of Central Florida’s goal for the 2016 campaign would surpass the 2015 total, and would be the largest campaign ever for the organization.

“As we kickoff the 2016 campaign – we want to focus on the need to continue supporting over 100 programs in the coming year with over 60 partners,” stated Wesley Barnett. “United Way goes beyond temporary fixes to create lasting change. By bringing people together, we make great things happen.

“Our success is measured by actual lives changed. We’re making progress –but, it’ll take all of us working together to raise resources needed to reach our goals,” shared Ashley Barnett. “We are proud to announce this year’s goal is $9.1 million.”

Along with announcing the goal, the Barnetts also thanked this year’s volunteer campaign cabinet, employee campaign coordinators, and loaned executives and announced this year’s campaign theme: “The Power of U!”

This year’s 2016 Loaned Executives: Kristina Rovira, Publix Super Markets, Inc.; Lauren Winkle, Publix Super Markets, Inc.; Whitnie Bell, Polk County School Board; Estefania Mendoza, GEICO; Jennifer Northway, Saddle Creek Logistic Services; Emily Plank, Sponsored by Watson Clinic; and Tom Costello, sponsored by Watson Clinic.

The event was started off by Deric Feacher, City Manager of Winter Haven and 2016 Chairman of the Board for United Way of Central Florida. He introduced Adrian Jones, General Manager of LEGOLAND Florida Resort who shared the 4D Nexo Knights movie with the audience, as well as Winter Haven Mayor, Brad Dantzler who presented the United Way of Central Florida with a proclamation, proclaiming the day “United Way Day”.

“We are so grateful to LEGOLAND for hosting us today. Their generosity is extraordinary,” stated Feacher. Playing off the movie that was shown, Feacher asked. “Did you notice any connection to some of the challenges we face – and what we work to achieve in our communities…together? Like the Knight said…Sometimes all you need is an idea.”

Companies that ran a workplace campaign before the kickoff were recognized as ‘Pacesetters’. The 2016 Pacesetter Chair, Stephanie Colon announced more than $460,000 has already been raised toward this year’s goal. The 37 companies that ran pacesetter campaign each received a Power of U award.

The 2016 Pacesetter companies are: Achievement Academy, Bank of Central Florida, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, Boring Business Systems, Burris Logistics, Campfire USA Sunshine Council, Central Florida Development Council, Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Children’s Home Society, City of Auburndale, Coca Cola North America, Crown Printing, Inc.; Frostproof Care Center; Citizen’s Bank & Trust; Good Shepherd Hospice; Heacock Insurance Group (Sebring); Heart of Florida Legal Aid Society; Heartland National Bank; HELP of Fort Meade; Highlands Regional Medical Center; Lighthouse for the Blind; Macy’s; Mulberry Community Service Center; Nu-Hope Elder Care Services; Peace River Center; Regal Automotive Group; Regions Bank; Sale Insurance Agency; South Florida State College; Sunshine Bank; Talbot House Ministries of Lakeland, Inc.; Target; Tri-County Human Services, Inc.; United Way of Central Florida; Watson Clinic, LLP; Wells Fargo; and Winter Haven Hospital, a BayCare Facility.

The event closed with Alan H Turner II, president and CEO of the United Way of Central Florida sharing this year’s campaign video and discussing the Power of U.

“The Power of U is helping the United Way of Central Florida improve lives and strengthen our community,” stated Turner. “Whether you give, volunteer or advocate you are Living United and proving the Power of U makes a difference.”

The United Way of Central Florida’s campaign will run through the end of the year, and the final amount raised will be announced at the annual meeting held in May, 2017.

Ashley and Wesley Barrnet Deric Feacher Adrian Jones Stephanie Colon

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Event Calendar

Mar 12/18 - Apr 12/18 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM Build United- Register a Team Today!
Apr 03/18 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM Tocqueville Tuesdays - Bonnet Springs Park
Apr 19/18 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM Infant Massage at Family Fundamentals
Apr 19/18 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM Board of Directors Meetings

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