United Way raises $1.5 million, but misses Clark County goal

The United Way of Clark, Champaign and Madison Counties raised about $1.56 million for the three-county region as part of its 2015 campaign, but failed to reach its goal in Clark County.

Clark County raised a little less than $1.1 million, about $100,000 short of its goal. This year’s campaign raised about $1.08 million, beating last year’s total of $1.02 million.

The organization knew the goal would be a stretch, United Way Executive Director Kerry Pedraza said, but was happy to beat last year’s campaign total.

“It’s tremendous for our community and shows that we’re on our way up,” she said. “We’re very grateful for the community for what they’ve given to us and continue to entrust in us through the United Way.”

The fundraising total was released at the 2015 Campaign Celebration and Awards at the Heritage Center of Clark County on Thursday morning. The organization beat its overall goal of $1.53 million.

United Way raises money for nonprofit organizations that provide services addressing health, income and education issues, Pedraza said.

“Those are the fundamental building blocks of a healthy, stable community,” she said.

Funding totals for 2016 are expected to be released at the end of April, Pedraza said. Last year, about $660,000 was awarded to support 32 programs in Clark County.

It provided 234,000 services to individuals.

“We never want to cut any of the nonprofits because they all do fantastic work,” Pedraza said. “What we see is that there are other nonprofits who are doing great work, too. We want to be more inclusive than exclusive.”

Pete Noonan, vice president and co-founder at local real estate firm Midland Properties, served as the 2015 chairman and will return to serve in the same role for the 2016 campaign.

“It will make this an even better campaign,” Noonan said.

Champaign County raised about $296,000, beating both its 2015 goal of $237,000 and last year’s campaign. The campaign was chaired by Andrew and Amy Donahoe.

The United Way will release Madison County’s fundraising total next week, Pedraza said.

The organization announced several new programs for this year, including Volunteers United, which will serve as a way for residents to find opportunities to volunteer for local nonprofit organizations. It will also serve as a community calendar, allowing nonprofits to avoid scheduling events on the same date.

The United Way formerly hosted the Corporate Challenge, but ended the event in the mid-2000s. The organization is bringing back the event on Sept. 10 under the name Community Challenge.

The program also saw the United Way present several different people and groups with awards, including:

• 2015 President’s award: Phil Teusink.

• 2015 Spirit of United Way award: Community Mercy Health Partners.

• 2015 Non-profit Leadership Award: WellSpring.

• 2015 Board Recognition: Matt Luther.

• 2015 Board Recognition: Peter Foreman.

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