UW Celebrates Volunteers and Looks Toward More Community Impact

United Way Celebrates Volunteers and Looks Toward More Community Impact at the 2019 Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon

January 23, 2019

Lafayette, IN- Area officials, board members, volunteers, and United Way staff gathered at The Trails Banquet Facility to reflect on the accomplishments of last year and to look forward to the possibilities of 2019. It was an afternoon full of celebration as United Way of Greater Lafayette honored those who helped raise over $5.3 million in 2018 and also recognize several programmatic milestones along their Cradle to Career Commitment including:

●      BornLearning Academies served over 117 families who learned how to make everyday moments matter in the lives of their children.

●      Kindergarten Countdown Camps hosted 235 children in the summer of 2018 with an average increase of 19.4% in scores from the pre-test to the post-test.

●      Read to Succeed, another CCTE collaborative puts over 600 volunteers in classrooms at all 20 of our public elementary schools.

●      Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program fondly known as VITA served more than 1,115 clients in 2018, saving Greater Lafayette low-income households approximately $278K in tax preparation fees.

●      Several Poverty Simulations were conducted to bring an awareness to the struggles shared by the working poor, exposing 300-400 people to what it may be like to walk in the shoes of others.

●      2 Days of Action and the Month of Caring 1000+ volunteers were able to make difference in our community by lending their time, treasures and talents.

●      United Way provided grants to projects in Greater Lafayette such as:

○      NAMI Trusted Mentors Program- Connects trained mentors with individuals living with a mental illness

○      MHA’s Behavior Health Navigator Service - 2nd year of 3 year funding for this pilot program that helps individuals with mental health challenges navigate available services, provide follow up for program clients and help increase collaboration between service providers.

○      LTHC Engagement Center- This Engagement Center is a major component of our community’s ongoing response to homelessness as was laid out in the Solutions Beyond Shelters community plan.

○      Northend Community Center- Funds used to help in the development of the Northend Community Center which houses 5 of partner agencies rent free and is the home to several other non-profit organizations.

○      United Way of Greater Lafayette provided $27,600 to Connect-to-Help to fund the 2-1-1 resource service in Tippecanoe County.

●      In 2018, UWGL invested $3,782,736 in our Cradle to Career Commitment through our 21 community partners who each work in various areas to help us fulfill our strategic work.

●     Affinity groups demonstrated leadership and teamwork:

○      Women United showed us the power of women joining together to support the community through their 2nd Annual Women United Book Drive.

○      Emerging Leaders stepped up this year by working to help fulfill United Way’s mission through answering all calls to action, to Give, to Advocate, and to Volunteer.

Outgoing Board President, Sam Burns reflected on his time as president and highlighted the drive that his team had to create change in the community. In addition, he mentioned the how the never-ending support from community organizations is exceptional. “Lafayette is not a big town, yet we are consistently the 2nd highest campaign in the state of Indiana, and it is because of the community involvement.”

Michael Budd, CEO of United Way of Greater Lafayette, noted the rippling effect that takes place in our community when someone is in need, and how donations and campaigns allow for direct change in the community. However, community impact is much more than that. “The level of change and impact and the lives that we touch is the real purpose and measure of our success.”

Awards Included:

2018 Best Overall Campaign

●      Stall & Kessler’s Diamond Center (1-100 Employees)

●      DeFouw Chevrolet BMW (101-499 Employees)

●      Caterpillar, Inc. (500+ Employees)

2018 Rookie of the Year

●      Anderson Plumbing (Company)

●      RAECO Realty (Company)

●      Lacey Padgett (Individual)

2018 Award of Merit

●      Greater Lafayette Commerce, MBAH Insurance (1-100 Employees)

●      Kirby Risk Corporation, United Parcel Service (101-499 Employees)

●      Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc., Unity Healthcare (500+ Employees)

2018 Employee Campaign Coordinator of the Year Award

●      Leanne Hardisty

2018 Bill Defouw Campaign Leadership Award

●      Dr. Robert Hagen

2018 Volunteer of the Year

●      Julie Wallace

2018 Gary Henriott Community Impact Leadership Award

●      Jennifer Layton

2018 Board President Award

●      Tommy Sors

2018 Chairman Award

●      Huston Electric Inc. ,Tim Powers, Tom Easterday

During the Annual Meeting portion of the afternoon retiring board members Scott Brady, Erika Steuterman, Rita Smith, Jennifer Groh, Brandon Hawkins, and Brenda Wallar were honored for their service. Sam Newton of Lafayette Wire will serve as the new Board President, and Jessica Rebmann of Turquoise Wealth Management will serve as the Campaign Chair for 2019.


Author: Lauren Bayley, Purdue University Professional Writing Senior.

For questions or comments regarding United Way News, contact: media@uw.lafayette.in.us