The Suburbanite
  • United Way hits its goal of $7.1 million

  • United Way made goal this year by raising more than $7 million during the 2012 fundraising campaign.

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  • The United Way of Greater Stark County made its goal of $7.1 million this year.
    Tom Swidarski made the announcement Wednesday morning during the United Way’s annual breakfast and campaign awards breakfast at the Barrette Business Center at Walsh University.
    The total raised by Swidarski, campaign chairman, and his cabinet was $7,103,975.
    During the event, Gold Key Awards were presented to Erine Bodo and Nadine McIlwain-Massey.
    Bodo is a volunteer troop leader for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio. According to Marie Russell, who nominated Bodo, what sets Bodo apart is the leadership of her troop. Bodo’s scouts decided to participate in a year of service, completing a different service project each month.
    As the year went on, they learned Nicky Mowery, the brother of one of the troop members, has autism and about some of the challenges he and his family face. The girls wanted to help, so they researched ways they could raise awareness about autism and toured The Golden Key School for Exceptional Children in Canton. The girls organized “A Walk in Nicky’s Shoes” event. It was a success with 300 people attending. They raised enough money to expand the playground at the Golden Key School and purchase iPads with communication apps that were donated to Perry Schools for special needs classrooms.
    McIlwain-Massey, chairwoman of the Greater Stark County Urban League board, was nominated by Vince Watts, president and chief executive officer of the Urban League. Watts credits McIlwain-Massey with saving the Urban League in 2009. As the doors were ready to close, McIlwain-Massey requested to meet with the board. She advocated for the necessity of the organization and promised to do whatever she had to do to keep it open. Thanks to her efforts, the organization weathered the financial storm of 2010. Watts credits her courage and tenacity in keeping the Urban League functioning.
    Derek Gordon, a Canton city employee, was named winner of the 2013 DeHoff Emerging Philanthropist of Stark County award. Katie Cerrone Arnold nominated Gordon because he is a young professional who works tirelessly to better his community.
    Gordon has served in leadership positions for multiple community service organizations including the Canton Jaycees, yStark!, Project Rebuild and United Way of Greater Stark County. Arnold credits Gordon’s team approach in leadership, his devotion to serving the community he loves, his commitment to improving the health of Stark County youth and his strong support of education initiatives as key qualities of this year’s DeHoff award winner.
    During the breakfast, members of the United Way thanked its community partners.
    United Way of Greater Stark County Community Partners of the Year Award recipients were Quest Recovery & Prevention Services, YWCA of Alliance and Westark Family Services.
    Page 2 of 2 - Campaign Committee or Coordinators of the Year were The Timken Company, Anheuser-Busch Sales of Canton, Biery Cheese Company and Seifert Technologies. Campaign of the Year awards were presented to Mercy Medical Center, Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., Alliance City Schools and Affinity Medical Center. New Campaign of the Year went to Wally Armour Auto Family and Special Event of the Year went to Gervasi Vineyard & Italian Bistro for Festa Gervasi.
    Honor Roll awards were presented to Builders Exchange of East Central Ohio, Canton Chair Rental, Consumers National Bank, Employers Health Purchasing Corporation, Fresh Mark, H-P Products, J.R. Coleman Outreach Services, Prescription Assistance Network of Stark County, Stark County Educational Service Center and Young Truck Sales.
    Reach Denise at 330-580-8321 or denise.sautters@cantonrep.com
    On Twitter: @dsauttersREP

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