It’s almost time for Sedalia-Pettis County United Way to kick-off its annual campaign and this year the organization is getting the community more involved.
On Saturday, SPCUW will host a Community Celebration as a way to not only get the community more involved in United Way, but also to engage and educate the community about United Way. For more than 10 years, SPCUW had a Celebrity Cook-off event that was typically attended by mostly donors and SPCUW board members. This year, Executive Director Staci Harrison and the board decided it was time for a change.
“We began conversations last year about other opportunities to engage the community. We wanted to make sure we had opportunities for us to celebrate with those who support United Way,” Harrison said. “About 20 years ago they used to do celebrations similar to this, as what I’ve been told by senior board members. This was appealing to me because I wanted to be able to engage everyone. Appreciation for soldiers, first repsonders, police officers, and a thank you to the community because the dollars are raised by the community for community issues.”
The 2016 campaign theme is “Give Where You Live” to tie into the fact that money raised in Pettis County stays in Pettis County.
“All the dollars we raise stay here in Pettis County and out of those dollars, 94 cents of every dollar goes to support services. Our campaign theme this year is very fitting,” Harrison said. “(This event is an) opportunity to have conversations with folks about United Way. There’s a misconception that when you donate to United Way it doesn’t stay local. We want people to think local, stay local. Ninety-four cents of every dollar stays here and supports services we have in Pettis County, targeting areas of education, income and health so we can break cycles of poverty. When they invest in United Way, they’re investing in their community. We do have the overall goal to increase the household median income.”
The event will begin with a presentation including a prayer, the Civil Air Patrol posting the colors, a joint proclamation from Sedalia Mayor Stephen Galliher and Pettis County Presiding Commissioner David Dick, and then a short ceremony to honor the event’s special guests, the squadrons at Whiteman Air Force Base and local law enforcement.
Harrison and 2016-17 Campaign Chair Phillip Mefford will then speak about United Way and reveal this year’s campaign goal. The 2015-16 campaign raised about $27,000 short of its $506,696 goal.
Last year, companies receiving a Gold Award for their contribution to the campaign included: Bothwell Regional Health Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri, Callis & Associates, Central Bank of Sedalia, City of Sedalia, County Distributing, Ditzfeld Transfer, Duke Manufacturing, Empire Gas, Fischer Concrete, Foley Equipment, Gardner Denver, General Cable, Heritage Fabrication, Katy Trail Community Health, KCP&L, Kohl’s, Lamm Tech, Maxion Wheels, Mazzio’s, Pettis County Government, Pittsburgh Corning, PrintLynx, ProEnergy Services, Rick Ball Ford, Sedalia School District 200, Septagon Construction, State Fair Community College, Simmons Bank, SMC Electric, Smithton R-VI, Starline Inc., Tyson Foods Employees, Union Pacific, UPS, US Bank, Waterloo Industries, WireCo World Group and W-K Chevrolet.
The community is invited to the event, which after the presentations will include demonstrations from Whiteman squadrons, visiting first responder and law enforcement vehicles, Mo Kids Outdoors with Harry, carnival games such as a dunk tank, duck pond and lollipop tree provided by funded partners, face painting and food and drinks. During the event One Track Train will perform.
The Community Celebration will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Liberty Park. The event is free to the public. For more information, call SPCUW at 660-826-2980.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.