By Amie Sites Pharos-Tribune
---- — Another campaign goal has been reached and exceeded for the United Way of Cass County. Leaders announced that $664,534.21 was raised during the 2013 campaign at the organization’s annual meeting and campaign celebration Wednesday afternoon.
Money raised is used to fund United Way agencies in the focus areas of income, health and education. The goal this year was set at $650,000.
The agencies include American Red Cross of North Central America, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cass County, Boy Scouts of America, Cass County Council on Aging, Cass County Family YMCA, Cass County Reading Railroad, Food Finders Food Bank, Senior Center/Cass County Transit, Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana, Logansport Back Pack Program, Peak Community Services and The Salvation Army.
Dave Ameen, the 2013 campaign chair, said he was fortunate because of the number of volunteers and people who helped make exceeding the goal possible.
Ameen said it was also enjoyable meeting with individuals who have been helped in the past and see the value of the agencies.
“We have all been helped out at some point,” Ameen said. “The United Way agencies do help and I’m pleased we raised the money.”
A recurring theme during this year’s campaign was hope. Ameen said he wanted to inspire hope in the community and as people were given hope, the community would continue to grow.
Joyce Mayhill, executive director at United Way of Cass County, thanked people for supporting United Way and making the goal possible.
Vicki Byrd, board president for 2013, reflected on the past year and talked about the work being done in Cass County. Board members and officers were recognized during the meeting along with the community investment committee, the campaign cabinet and pacesetters.
Byrd also spoke of highlights from the year including adding Becky Anspach, director of donor relations and resource development, and Lita Rouser, director of impact strategies and community investment, to the United Way staff.
Anspach helped with the campaign for the first time this year. The experience has been a good one for Anspach, she said.
“Each employee campaign we went to inspired, humbled and honored us,” Anspach said. “Without [employee campaigns] we couldn’t do our job.”
During the celebration, Joyce Ameen was named volunteer of the year. Steinberger Construction was named outstanding pacesetter and a special event award went to Ivy Tech Community College.
Every year a lot of work goes into each United Way of Cass County campaign.
Josh Hopper was announced as the 2014 campaign chair at the meeting.
“I’m excited to collaborate and make a difference in the community,” Hopper said.
Hopper, who has been helping out at the United Way of Cass County in some way since 2008, has been working since October to learn what he will be doing as campaign chair.
Hopper will be in charge of getting a cabinet together, which has different divisions, chairs and a team of people. From there they will meet with industry, labor and business leaders to ask what they see in the business that may affect donations.
From there, a goal for the coming year’s campaign will be decided.
“I’m excited about the impact we can bring,” Hopper said.
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her: @PharosAES.