The United Way of Greater Stark County helps 200,000 local people every year through its Bold Goals programs in education, health and financial stability.
This year was no different, thanks primarily to the volunteers and donors who make dreams come true for local residents who find themselves in need of help.
Raising $6,000,621 during the current campaign, which ended Thursday, the United Way will be able to continue its work in the community. The announcement was made Thursday morning during the United Way's annual celebration at the Kent State University at Stark Conference Center. Distribution of the more than $6 million was: $3,601,088 program allocation; $1,865,537 United Way direct services and impact councils; $320,000 donor designated pledges and $213,996 into strategic initiatives
"Annual celebration 2019 had over 340 attendees, making it one of the largest we have ever had," said Maria Heege, United Way of Greater Stark County CEO and president. “We are so grateful to the community for coming out to help us honor all of the individual and workplace award winners. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to recognize so many wonderful community volunteers."
Honored at the event at the Kent State University Stark campus were Patricia Wackerly, Joseph J. Feltes, Christopher Remark, Angela Polumba and Bradley Mull.
Mull, 14, received the Youth Leadership Award. He is the son of Olivia M. and Gary W. Mull, who have a fund through the Stark Community Foundation and have given back $45,000 to the community since 2013. Bradley has participated in numerous collection activities, including projects that provided food and clothing to those in need. He also collected 400 blankets for the Hope Outreach Ministry in 2016.
Wackerly, a Gold Key Service Award recipient, is president of the Stark State College Foundation Board. She supports education and financial stability through scholarships, workforce initiatives, emergency funding and is an advocate for students.
Feltes, also a Gold Key recipient, is a member of the AultCare Insurance Company Board of Directors and the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, in addition to other boards and community service organizations. He helps provide guidance and strategy to Aultman Health Foundation; Aultcare; Access Health; MEWA; Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee in conjunction with Stark Education Partnership, Stark County Educational Service Center and Education Sub-Committee; and the Strengthening Stark initiative.
Remark, another Gold Key recipient, joined Aultman in 1993 and serves in a dual role as the CEO at Aultman Healthcare Delivery System and CEO at Aultman Hospital. In his more than 25 years with the organization, he has served in various capacities. He is active in volunteer activities and serves as a member of the board of directors of Aultman Health Foundation, Aultman Hospital, Stark Economic Development Board, Stark State College Foundation and Walsh University.
Palomba was this year's recipient of the DeHoff Emerging Philanthropist Award, established in 2010 by Bob and Linda DeHoff to recognize a Stark County resident 45 or younger who impacts Stark County through direct service and volunteer work. She is executive director of the The First Tee of Canton. She received $5,000 to be donated to a health and human service nonprofit organization of her choice.
Workplace awards were presented to local organizations that held a United Way fundraising campaigns and met or exceeded established goals.