Congratulations and Celebrations: Annual Community Celebration and Volunteer Recognition Event
By Cynthia Zimmerman, Marketing Events Specialist
Commemorating a year that included record-breaking growth and impact, United Way of Lake County hosted its Annual Community Celebration and Volunteer Recognition Event on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the United Conveyor Corporation in Waukegan. Over 100 community and business partners, board members and volunteers came together to celebrate some amazing accomplishments of our community impact work, act of volunteerism and philanthropy.
A gracious vote of thanks to the United Conveyor Corporation for hosting and sponsoring this year’s event. Also, thank you to our Supporting Sponsor Baxter International for their commitment to making this event so successful.
“This year, we are proud to announce that over $ 2.2 million dollars is being invested into the Lake County community to fund critical health and human services that support education, and safe and stable families”, said Kristi Long, United Way of Lake County President and CEO. “These dollars go a long way to helping United Way make an impact in the community, but it takes more than money to create lasting change- it takes time, and it takes people who are willing to work hard to make a difference”, she added.
Over this past year, United Way of Lake County working closely with corporate, community, agency partners and volunteers has had many reasons to celebrate the lasting change of a stronger Lake County community. To view photos from this event, click here.
Recognizing the work of such committed individuals and organizations who are improving the lives in Lake County, and exemplifying what it means to LIVE UNITED, here are our 2014-2015 Volunteer Honors are:
Outstanding Long-Term Volunteer: John Estal
Steadfast volunteer John, staying active in his retirement has been refurbishing computers as Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers for the Computer Learn and Earn Initiative, since its inception in 2010. The program empowers parents with the knowledge and tools needed to become more engaged in their child’s education. Parents learn how to track their child’s educational progress online; and receive the technology that they need at home to stay informed and engaged thought the year. Because of John, over 600 families have been served through the program and have received the technology necessary for their child’s success in school.
Outstanding New Volunteer: Kabita Bagchi
Using the power of her time and experience of marketing communications, Kabita has been volunteering with our Marketing team on strategic public outreach initiatives to address the most critical local need of children education in Lake County. She has furthered UWLC’s goals by shaping positive opinion about the organization in mind of the key media influencers.
Outstanding Volunteer Group: Judges of Lake County
With United Way’s Reading Success program, Lake County judges Luis Berrones, Thomas Schippers, Margaret Mullen, Nancy Waites and Jorge Ortiz have empowered the lives of the students they have had the opportunity to tutor a 2nd grade classroom of North Elementary in Waukegan.
Outstanding Community Partner: Mano a Mano
Mano a Mano has been partnering with UWLC for over ten years and their commitment to the community has created positive impact for children and families in the Round Lake Area. Under Success By 6 in 2014, their Kinder-Camp program prepared 200 children with the skills needed to start Kindergarten prepared for the first day. Under Safe and Stable Families, their Healthy Families Program reached out to vulnerable community members and provided access to screenings for over 2,158 individuals in 2014. Additionally, their Community School for Parents Program helped over 450 parents achieve and maintain self-sufficiency by providing basic computer instruction to adults, assisting parents in passing the GED and helping parents become more proficient in English through ESL classes and English Conversion Circles.
Outstanding Corporate Partner: AbbVie
Over 600 employees participated in numerous UWLC volunteer efforts in the focus areas. In Success By 6 program, AbbVie employees assembled 900 Early Learning Club Mailers to encourage children to exercise and play outside. Provided one-on-one tutoring to students, who were below grade level in reading and comprehension, through our Reading Success Program at Carman-Buckner and North Elementary Schools. AbbVie employees were instrumental in helping implement the Computer Learn and Earn initiative aimed at empowering parents with digital literacy for their child’s education.
Key senior leadership at AbbVie also took time to share their career path with students at Abbott Middle School. More than 300 AbbVie Operations employees also helped transform an elementary school into a working facility for at-risk, low income young adults with the mission to help them complete their education and gain job training skills.
Overall, AbbVie employees dedicated over 3,200 volunteer hours to the underserved communities of North Chicago, Waukegan and Zion.
Waukegan’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading was also awarded the 2014 Pacesetter Award by Jill Riemer, Senior Consultant with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and a leader among the National Communities Support Center with the campaign.
Exploring Volunteer Opportunities?
Anyone interested in joining these amazing volunteers and use the power of their time, talent and resources to prepare our children succeed click here and get involved.
That’s what it means to LIVE UNITED.