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Community comes through for United Way

Shelby County United Way Campaign Chair Josh Koltak speaks during the United Way finale luncheon held at the Sidney Veterans’ Center on Thursday, Nov. 4. Seated is CEO Shelby County United Way Scott Barr.

Shelby County United Way Campaign Chair Josh Koltak speaks during the United Way finale luncheon held at the Sidney Veterans’ Center on Thursday, Nov. 4. Seated is CEO Shelby County United Way Scott Barr.

SIDNEY — “The Spirit of Generosity” is ringing true in Shelby County.During Thursday’s Shelby County United Way finale luncheon, President and CEO Scott Barr predicted the final total of the campaign will exceed what was raised in 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.“We are in year two of the pandemic,” said Barr. “And it’s not normal to have every division up from last year. This speaks to our community and businesses” who support the United Way campaign.

“I’m confident we’ll surpass last year’s number,” he said.

Because of the pandemic, campaign goals were not set in 2020 and 2021. In 2020, the final amount raised was $1,236,239. On Thursday, Barr announced $961,878 has been turned in with Emerson and Airstream still in the midst of their campaigns. Barr feels the campaign will raise between $1,270,00 and $1,320,000.

Nearly every division saw an increase over what was raised in 2020, he said. The large manufacturing division is still collecting funds.

Cornerstone and Special Gifts — led by Jayne Smith and Amy West — reported $48,130 for the 2021 campaign, a slight decrease from 2020 which raised $54,451. Smith was honored for being a division leader for 10 years in 2020 with 2021 being her 11th year as a leader.

The Education Division saw an increase of almost $8,000 from 2020 to 2021. The actual amount in for 2021 is $48,294 compared to $40,936 in 2020. Emerson Primary was named the Jackets United winner among Sidney City Schools, while Fairlawn Local School won the Rivals United award among the county schools. Both students and staff contributed to the program. The division leaders are Amy Simindinger, Tiffany Rank and Ryan Maier.

The Not-for-Profits — led by Traci Milanese and Rachel Hale — reported $24,634 in the 2021 campaign. The total for 2020 was $22,263.

The Public Employees Division had donations of $32,643 in 2021, an increase of more than $1,000 from the $31,372 raised in 2020. Division leaders are Jon Crusey, Jodie Siegel and Bob Guillozet.

Jackie Davis and Kim Doak are the leaders of the Retail Division, which raised $36,879 in 2021, up from the $34,132 raised in 2020. Davis was honored for her 10th year as a division leader.

The Service Division — led by Mark Shipman and Chris North — raised $234,592. In 2020, $226,537 was raised.

The Health Care Division was raising funds during the Delta variance surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders Mark Klosterman and Jennifer Huelskamp raised $53,432 compared to $46,770 in 2020. “It took a lot of hard work to get to this level,” said Barr.

The Professional Division set another record in 2021. Led by Ashley Himes, the amount raised was $112,875 up nearly $20,000 from the record raised in 2020 of $94,809.

Jason Wagner was the leader of the Small Manufacturing Division. The total raised in 2021 was $35,646, up from $29,323 in 2020.

The Large Manufacturing Division — led by Mickey Hamer and Duane Gaier — raised $334,753. In 2020, the amount was $655.646. Barr said Emerson is still finalizing its campaign, while Airstream is still running its campaign.

“Airstream is up $41,000 and they’re still running their campaign,” said Barr. “Choice One matches what the employees donate. So many companies have a match program. We see $300,000 in corporate matches.”

Barr added 20 companies saw donation growth of $1,000 or more in 2021 accounting for $101,000 in additional funds. Twenty-six companies saw growth of $900 or more.

Allen Bertke, board of trustees chair, said he’s grateful to be part of the United Way community.

“It’s been eyeopening and rewarding,” he said.

Josh Koltak, who served as campaign chair, said Barr is “made for the job and never gets the recognition he deserves.”

Koltak said the division leaders meet on a weekly basis to see how the campaign is going.

“It’s awesome to see the campaign come together,” said Koltak. “The community came together and hit its stride.”

Outgoing board members recognized were Diane Magoteaux, Linda Meininger, Tom Rossman, Adam Koenig and Mary Lou Lacy.