United Way givers hit $2.6M goal

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JANESVILLE - The United Way Blackhawk Region has reached its 2018 campaign goal of raising $2.6 million, it was announced this morning during the annual Live United breakfast celebration.

The United Way recognized its corporate supporters, donors, volunteers and community partners at its annual breakfast event at the Pontiac Convention Center in Janesville.

United Way's 2019 Board Chair Al Hulick kicked off the awards ceremony as officials announced reaching its 2018 campaign goal.

Included in the recognitions was the Cornerstone Award, which is presented to workplace campaigns that exceeded $100,000 in employee pledges. Receiving the Cornerstone Award this year are ABC Supply Co., Beloit Health System, Kerry, Mercyhealth, and Regal.

Rock Energy Systems LLC., received the Emerging Campaign Award, in recognition for creating an atmosphere of support for United Way evidenced by a 96 percent increase in employee pledges over the previous year's campaign.

United Way Blackhawk Region President and CEO Mary Fanning-Penny announced United Way's Community Impact Council has approved a $40,000 Capacity Building Grant for ECHO to hire a full-time housing and resource navigator. This position will help Rock County residents navigate a complex system with the longterm goal of attaining affordable housing.

United Way also recognized two individuals for their advocacy and volunteerism. Erick Williams, project manager for the Fatherhood Initiative, a United Way funded program of Community Action, Inc. of Rock and Walworth Counties, was honored with the Excellence in Advocacy Award. The Fatherhood Initiative is conducted through Community Action of Rock and Walworth Counties and it focuses on men who are underemployed or have criminal records who want to better their lives and be better fathers.

Chief Operating Officer at Regal Beloit Corporation and Board Chair for United Way Blackhawk Region for the past three years, Jon Schlemmer, was honored with the Geraldine Hedberg Volunteer of the Year Award. Schlemmer is a generous donor and Regal has high employee participation in United Way campaigns each year.

The annual LIVE UNITED Award, presented to a company that displays exceptional support for United Way through its workplace campaign, as well as volunteerism, was presented to Blackhawk Community Credit Union.

More than 300 United Way benefactors attended the LIVE UNITED Celebration, which included a vocal performance by Janesville Parker High School student Kendyl Van Kirk accompanied by pianist Laurie Mitchell.

To learn more, access United Way Blackhawk Region's newly released Annual Report at LiveUnitedBr.org.

United Way Blackhawk Region provides community grants and resources to 60 human services programs at 28 nonprofit agencies in Rock County in Wisconsin and northern Winnebago County in Illinois. More information is available at LiveUnitedBR.org.

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