Citizens in Hancock County have demonstrated their generosity by achieving a major milestone for the 2013 fundraising campaign. United Way of Hancock County announced Tuesday that the community has raised $3,115,497for community programs. The traditional fundraising efforts raised $3,020,497, with an additional $95,000 raised for the Halt Hunger Initiative, a targeted effort to end hunger in Hancock County. The goal this year, as in recent past years, has been to exceed the previous year. Last year, United Way's efforts resulted in raising $2,862,833.
John Urbanski, president and CEO of United Way of Hancock County, said, "I would like to personally thank Gene Stevens and his outstanding cabinet for making this a record-breaking year. Their energy and commitment, along with the efforts of the United Way staff, have set the bar high for future campaigns. We are blessed to have such a committed group of men and women who help bring out the best in our community."
Gene Stevens, campaign chair, announced the result during a campaign wrap up event at the Findlay Country Club. Stevens encouraged members of the audience to take the opportunity to raise funds that will be invested in the community, if they are asked.
"It's been fun," said Stevens. "If you surround yourself with good people, the job is simple."
The commercial division, chaired by Suzie Reineke, raised $73,930. This division includes car dealerships, contractors, grocery stores, and more.
The corporate division, chaired by Brian Brown, raised $2,422,018. This division includes all major corporations in Hancock County.
The education division, chaired by Barb Bish, raised $57,515. The division includes city schools, private schools and higher education institutions.
The FIRE division, which includes financial institutions, insurance companies, and real estate companies, raised $102,926. This division was chaired by Matt Hull.
The health division, co-chaired by Dr. Karen Eubanks and Dave Eubanks, raised $142,133. The health division includes doctors, dentists, Blanchard Valley Health System, and health services companies like long- term care facilities.
The mercantile division, chaired by Beth Waddell, raised $32,047. This division includes small storefronts, restaurants and other small businesses in the county.
The professional division, co-chaired by Christie Ranzau and Pam Lather, raised $32,885. The professional division includes attorneys, accountants, ministers, veterinarians and more.
The public division includes nonprofit organizations, and city and county employees. This division raised $57,513 and was chaired by Brian Robertson.
The independent division, chaired by David Cassidy, includes retirees and individuals who work from their home or are independent companies. The division raised $62,134.
The rural division, including small businesses and schools outside of Findlay, raised $37,396. The division was chaired by Jerry Silveus.
This year's leadership chair was Garry Peiffer. Leadership donors are members of the Gaslight Society and give at a level of $750 or above annually.
The funds will be distributed to programs and services through grants that are reviewed by local citizens who serve on the volunteer impact teams during the 2014 grant cycle. Partner agencies eligible to apply for funding include: American Red Cross-Hancock County Chapter, Boy Scouts of America-Black Swamp Area Council, CASA/GAL of Hancock County, Camp Fire of Northwest Ohio, Challenged Champions Equestrian Center, Century Health, Cancer Patient Services, Children's Mentoring Connection, Dental Center of Northwest Ohio, Family Resource Center, Findlay Family YMCA, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, Hancock County Saves, HHWP Community Action Commission, Hope House for the Homeless, Kidney Foundation of Northwest Ohio, Open Arms Domestic Violence & Rape Crisis Services, Salvation Army, and West Ohio Food Bank. Funds are also used for United Way operations. Halt Hunger Initiative funds are used for programs serving the food-insecure in Hancock County. For more information or to serve on an impact team, contact the United Way office at 419-423-1432 or visit online at http://LiveUnitedHancockCounty.org.