United Way starts with $2.8M goal

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Employees of EcoLab await their breakfast at the kick-off for United Way's Day of Caring in Beloit. The breakfast was held at the Eclipse Center today. The United Way campaign goal for 2015 is $2.82 million, there have been more than $345,675 in corporate contributions from 25 Pacesetter organizations so far.

BELOIT — United Way Blackhawk Region is seeking to raise $2.82 million in its 2015 campaign, which was officially launched this morning during a kick-off breakfast at the Eclipse Center.

More than $345,675 in corporate contributions already has been pledged to the United Way campaign through the 25 Pacesetters, which are businesses and organizations that raise funds to give the campaign an early start.

A new feature of this year’s campaign kick-off was a reveal of the 2015 Community Campaign Champions — Milly Babcock and Kim Hendricks.

“As a local entrepreneur, I know the value of philanthropy and uniting toward universal goals,” said Babcock. “I firmly believe in helping children reach their full potential, providing families tools to become self-sufficient and encouraging health and


Along with her husband, David, Babcock has operated family-owned Babcock Outdoor Advertising for nearly 20 years. She has held a variety of board level positions with many civic and nonprofit


“Volunteers, board members and staff work throughout the year to wisely and strategically invest in community issues that affect families’ health and well-being,” said United Way Board Chair Phil Smith. “Each fall, emphasis is put on building those resources by asking our many friends and neighbors to join us in these efforts. It’s not about how much you give; it’s about giving back and getting involved. Small gifts combine together to create a huge difference for our community.”

“United Way’s Community Campaign is a wonderful opportunity for citizens to come together and support a common goal, making the Blackhawk Region the strongest community possible,” said Mary Fanning-Penny, United Way Blackhawk Region president and chief executive. “Over the past year, more than 130,400 health and human services were provided, an increase from 94,000 services in 2013. So, we’re issuing a call to the community to increase their support. That cannot be done alone and United Way is a great example of what can be achieved when we all work together.”

“It’s the highest goal ever set, one that will produce tremendous impact in our region,” said Hendricks. “I’m results-oriented, so while the goal is lofty, I’m eager to see our dedicated volunteers, generous donors and supportive community pull together to meet it.”

As a Rock County native, Hendricks has held leadership positions at a local Fortune 500 company.

Hendricks retired in January 2015 as a vice president for ABC Supply Co., Inc. She previously served as president of Mule-Hide Products.

Coupled with her United Way commitment, she has been actively involved with Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Badgerland Council, Junior Achievement, Friends of Riverside Park, Beloit 2020 and the Hendricks Foundations.

United Way invests campaign contributions through community grants. The grants help support 42 partner organizations across 103 programs providing advancement in education, income and health. The non-profit agencies are in Rock County and northern Winnebago County, Illinois.

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