United Way of Porter County (UWPC) hosted its Annual Celebration on March 11 at Portage 16 IMAX. The event honored and recognized outstanding community partners and participants in the 2013/2014 campaign. Event sponsors included Farrall Wealth and Indiana Beverage, and the appetizers were provided by Strongbow Inn.
Guests arrived to a red carpet entrance - complete with paparazzi graciously provided by Memorial Opera House volunteer actors - and enjoyed an hors dâ€™oeuvres reception and an awards program, modeled after the Academy Awards. The program included numerous categories, such as Best Short Film, Best Motion Picture and Outstanding Performance in a Lead Role, for example. Campaign Chair Greg Farrall took the theme further by mimicking Academy Awards host Ellen Degeneres by having a pizza delivered mid-ceremony, as well as sharing his own version of Ellenâ€™s now-famous selfie. Other presenters included Sharon Kish (UWPC CEO), George Carberry (UWPC Board of Directors President) and Jerry and Linda Rodenbarger (2013 Dorothy M. Porter Award recipients).
During the program, special recognition was given to various United Way (UW) programs, businesses and individuals that had a positive impact on UW. Awards and recipients are as follows:
Outstanding Performance in a Lead Role for UW Impact (awarded to Community Investment, presented to Laurie Mullet) Outstanding Achievement in Direction of Youth (awarded to Success By 6, presented to Jennifer Wright) Best Short Film (awarded to the Reading Buddies film featuring Tristan, Jr.) Outstanding Performance in Promoting UW (awarded to the Times, presented to John Scheibel) Outstanding Achievement in Campaign Direction by a Dynamic Duo (awarded to Greg and Liz Farrall, 2013/2014 Campaign Co-chairs) Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role (awarded to UWPC Ambassadors, Loaned Executives and sponsors) Trail Blazer Award for Outstanding Achievement in Campaign Design (awarded to CSI and Centier Bank) Pacesetter Award (awarded to Lakeside Wealth Management, presented to Mark Chamberlin and Tim Rice) Company of the Year (awarded to Indiana Beverage, presented to Jon Leetz, George Douglas, Todd Wagenblast and Todd Slack) Best Motion Picture (â€œBe the Oneâ€ Campaign Video, directed by Group 7even and produced by JBH Productions) Outstanding Professional Award (awarded to Beth Wrobel of HealthLinc) Dorothy M. Porter Award (awarded to Todd Wagenblast of Indiana Beverage)
The pinnacle of the evening was the announcement of the 2013/14 campaign total of $1,779,475. Grant dollars, volunteer hours and fund matches also helped UW total over $3 million in community investment. These funds will be used to generate the highest level of community impact through UW programs and initiatives. â€œWe are so thankful to live in such a compassionate and giving community,â€ said Kish. â€œThe campaign was a success, and every year we look forward to this event that recognizes and celebrates everyone who supports United Way and everything that we do to make to Porter County a great place to live.â€
United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of the Porter County community through financial and volunteer resource development. United Way invests in 3 core strategies: Education, Financial Stability, and Health. We help nearly 40,000 Porter County residents per year build better lives. For more information, visit www.unitedwaypc.org, www.uwsuccessby6.org & www.nwivolunteer.org or call 219-464-3583.
Photo Caption: George and Julie Douglas arrive on the red carpet, photo courtesy of Aspen Studios