United Way celebrates successful campaign

By Nicole Cooke

February 21, 2014

The legacy of the United Way bedazzled shoes was passed on Friday during the annual Sedalia-Pettis County United Way meeting and awards luncheon.

The event wrapped up the 2013-14 campaign with awards, volunteer recognition, and the naming of new board members and the 2014-15 campaign chairman. This year’s campaign chairman Paul Dick helped guide SPCUW to raising about $488,000, just short of the campaign goal of $540,000. Now that task has been handed over to Bob Satnan, current second vice president of the SPCUW board. Handing over the reigns included a gift of sparkly black sneakers for Satnan, given by Dick, who was wearing his bedazzled loafers he received last year.

“This is a huge responsibility and our efforts will affect scores of people throughout our community,” Satnan said during the meeting. “I’m not going to lie to you, this is a daunting task and I’m just a little freaked out at what lies ahead on this journey. But as you all know, I’m a guy who loves a good story. And our United Way agencies create wonderful stories of compassion, connection and success every day.”

Satnan used the rest of his speech to feature some of the work the member agencies have completed thanks to funding from SPCUW. Satnan told the Democrat after the meeting he will be using the theme of stories throughout the campaign, possibly writing weekly stories that highlight a different agency and their contributions to the community.

For now there is some downtime before Satnan begins on the new campaign. Executive Director Linda Kirk said he will choose a theme this summer and the kickoff will be in late August. Applications for 2015 agencies were sent out last week and are due March 17. Once the financial review committee sorts through them and goes over the budget, a campaign goal will be set.

“I’m excited he’s going to do this,” Kirk said of Satnan. “He has the passion.”

Although Dick’s time as campaign chair has come to an end, he said he was pleased with how the campaign went.

“I think it was great, I got to visit a lot of places and some places were up in giving this year,” Dick said. “We did a great job of getting out and spreading the word about the great things our agencies do.”

The afternoon also recognized those who made substantial contributions to the campaign. Thirty-six groups were recognized for donating $1,000 or more. Tyson Foods Inc., received the Outstanding Performance Award in the Industrial Division, as well as the award for highest giving, with a total contribution of $95,546. ProEnergy Services received the award for highest per capita giving, with a total of $44,209. State Fair Community College captured the Most Creative Campaign Award for their faculty/staff basketball game with Sacred Heart School and Sedalia School District 200, the Change Wars that resulted in organization advisers taking a pie to the face, and several other events to help raise more than $10,000.

Sedalia School District 200 received the Outstanding Performance Award in the Educational Division for having an increased percentage of employees participating, and SFCC also received the award for increasing its giving by 20 percent. Another impressive increase was from Duke Manufacturing, which had a 60 percent increase over last year.

Child Safe and Preuitt Insurance were both recognized for having 100 percent employee participation, and County Distributing and US Bank came in a close second, each with 99 percent participation.

“We think we did very, very well this year,” Kirk said. “We didn’t meet our goal but we’re not dwelling on that. We’re focusing on the agencies and what they do, not the amount of money we raised. We do have a large amount of money to help our agencies, and there will be money coming from outside the campaign throughout the year that should make up for what we didn’t raise.”