ASHLAND – The United Way of Ashland County‘s luncheon on Tuesday was an opportunity to celebrate community members and its 2022 fundraising campaign, which exceeded the goal of $850,000 to reach a total of $920,154.
“Ashland County, thank you for being the star of the show,” United Way of Ashland County Executive Director Stacy Schiemann told partner agency representatives and community guests at the 64th annual meeting held at Ashland University‘s Convocation Center.
The campaign centered on one word, Schiemann said — generosity.
“It applies to each one of you in this room.”
It began with the challenge gift of Bob and Jan Archer, she said, noting Jan Archer has served United Way in every capacity, and Bob Archer is “a force of nature.”
Despite “a life-changing experience for all of us” brought on by the pandemic, Schiemann said, “what hasn’t changed is the life-sustaining work of our partner agencies.”
Among the many ways United Way agencies have been meeting the community’s health and well-being needs during a challenging period of time are developing telehealth services; increasing transportation; and addressing homelessness, substance abuse, mental health, utility, rent and mortgage needs.
The partner agencies not only provide services, Schiemann said, but also raise funds for them.
‘(They) connect with each other and the clients they serve … they believe in each other and the community.”
Jerry Strausbaugh, speaking on behalf of Appleseed Community Mental Health Center, in addition to United Way’s other partner agencies, thanked those who give “not only of their resources. But really in this room are people who give so much more than that,” he said.
“All of us are mission-driven, not-for-profit organizations,” Strausbaugh said, dependent upon partnerships to do their work.
“The people in this room, the individuals, are what make Ashland a great place to live and work.”
Presenting the financial report in the business portion of the meeting was 2021 treasurer Brittaney Reep, who commended the campaigns of the last two years for being successfully run ” in the midst of so much uncertainty.”
Reep was also honored as the J. Robert Tipton Volunteer of the Year for 2021.
Schiemann praised Reep for strategic use of funds and for making “a lasting impact on our organization.”
“I hope you know …. how much you have meant to our organization,” Schiemann said.
Installed as the new slate of officers were Todd Geren as president; Nicole Hawks, vice president; Chris Bevington, treasurer; and Dan Lawson, secretary.
Also announced were incoming board members Angie Cirone of Ashland Source; Nicole Hawks of Critchfield, Critchfield and Johnson; and Natalie Pryor of BCU Electric.
Retiring members are Jordan Peden, Catherine Puster, Clint Leibolt and Reep.
Dan and Lynne Lawson, campaign chairpersons, recognized the top companies and Pacesetters of the campaign.
No matter the size of the gift, Lynne Lawson said, it’s when they come together that they assist those in great need.
The year 2021 turned out to be just about as challenging as 2020 was difficult, Scheimann said, asking, “How do we move through 2022? My answer is together.”
Support raised through the campaign will provided the funding for services offered by partner agencies in 2022.
Lara Kiefer, Executive Director
1734 Gasche Street, Wooster, Ohio 44691
Phone: (330) 262-1063
Our mission is to reduce the trauma of all abused children who walk through our doors by providing a safe and supportive environment to facilitate healing and justice with the help of our community partners.
ASHLAND — The United Way of Ashland County announced Thursday that it exceeded its annual campaign goal, despite its untraditional fundraising strategy.
The Ashland nonprofit raised $861,000 during its 2021 campaign, surpassing the goal of $850,000 by 102 percent.
“This year was difficult, challenging and unlike any other most of us have ever seen, but the simple truth is that we care about and for one another,” executive director Stacy Schiemann said. “Due to the hard work and commitment of this community working together to achieve one goal, collectively we will all be better for it.”
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit pivoted most of its campaign activities to a virtual platform. Only the annual Kay Conrad Day of Caring was able to continue in-person, as volunteer teams worked in socially distanced groups to help 80 Ashland area homes with outdoor work.
The campaign began in fall 2020 with a virtual campaign kick-off and continued with zoom employee meetings and speaking events. Staff dropped off campaign packets to business and organizations for donations, and the organization’s annual Holiday Happenings auction in December was held over social media channels.
“The common theme remained; we all work together to reach our annual goal,” Schiemann said. “Fully funding the campaign allows United Way of Ashland County to support its partner agencies selected programs and services in 2021, and this year more than ever it was vital that we reached our goal to allow United Way of Ashland County to fund our 14 partner agencies and 23 programs that meet the financial stability, education and health needs of our communities.”
The United Way’s partner agencies include: ACCADA, ACCESS, American Red Cross, Appleseed Community Mental Health, Ashland County Cancer, Association, Ashland County Council on Aging, Ashland Parenting Plus, Ashland Christian Health Center, Ashland YMCA, Associated Charities, Hospice of North Central Ohio, Kidney Foundation, Olive Tree Care and Salvation Army Kroc Center.
This year the campaign was led by five companies: Centerra CO-OP $63,086 (57 donors), PCA Packaging Corporation of America $62,464 (132 donors), Ashland University $32,301 (232 donors), UH Samaritan Medical Center $26,637(125 donors) and Chandler Systems Inc., $25,150 (41 donors).
United Way received two major donations in March 2021, which brought the campaign past its goal this year.
Trinity Lutheran Church gave a significant gift, meeting a challenge by an anonymous donor to reach at least $800,000 by March 1, 2021. The donation from the church triggered the $50,000 challenge donation, allowing United Way of Ashland County to exceed its goal.
“For almost 190 years Trinity Lutheran Church has been blessed to be a part of the community of Ashland, and it has been our great joy in that time to share with Ashland the blessings that God has poured out upon us. Trinity is grateful to have been able to support The United Way in funding the needs of the community,” Pastor Kevin McLain said. “As a community church and a community partner we are glad to partner with The United Way, and grateful for all they do to bless and support Ashland.”
According to a press release, the anonymous donor was also pleased to see the challenge was met.
Schiemann thanked everyone who donated to the campaign this year.
“This is truly why United Way of Ashland County exists, to bring together people of from all walks of life in our county to participate to make one impact for the greater good. We are thankful for each donation that is made, and each makes a huge impact on our community,” Schiemann said.
She also thanked the United Way campaign leadership team: Aaron and Aubrey Bates, Todd and Krissy Geren, Al Holdren, Dan Lawson, Angela Ringler, Joe and Brittaney Reep, Jerry Strausbaugh, Chris and Michelle Vanderzyden.
“They all are one hundred percent community minded, committed to the cause and are a source of constant humor, enthusiasm, ideas and insight. Thank you all for your hard work,” she said.