Lake Area United Way held its annual Partner Appreciation Luncheon on Thursday, February 23rd. The luncheon celebrates the businesses, nonprofits, and individuals who all come together to make the work of the United Way possible. It is a chance to celebrate shared successes and shine a light on those who deserve special recognition for going the extra mile.

“It’s because of our amazing partners that we were able to help over 80,000 of our neighbors in need last year,” says Lake Area United Way President and CEO Lisa Daugherty. “We’re truly honored by the generous support of all our partners, and this luncheon is our small way of saying ‘Thank You’ for everything they do for United Way and our community.”

Awards were given to:

Corporate Awards

Community Excellence Award- The TIMES Media Company. This award is presented to a corporate partner that embodies the overall spirit of LIVING UNITED through contributions of time, leadership and resources in support of United Way’s work. 

Best CEO/Executive Involvement- Don Porter, BP. This award recognizes outstanding support and leadership by a CEO or senior executive.

Best Special Event- Strack & Van Til. This award goes to a company that brings employees together to raise awareness for the United Way campaign through an exciting, creative and engaging event.

Ambassador of the Year- Rachel Baggett, Avery Dennison. This award is given in recognition of the top Ambassador who brings enthusiasm, creativity and innovative approaches to their workplace campaign; utilizes campaign best practices; increases the amount of investment and/or participation made by his/her workplace and perseveres in spite of internal and external challenges.

Campaign Champion- 1st Source Bank, Avery Dennison, Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Indiana, Carson Pirie Scott Woodmar Location, Catholic Diocese of Gary, Comcast Corporation, First Merchants Bank, Indiana University Credit Union, Lake County Public Library, MainSource Bank, St. Mary’s Medical Center-Community Healthcare System, Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana, The TIMES Media Company, Tradewinds Services, Wells Fargo. This campaign performance award is meant to honor those workplaces whose campaigns increased giving by 10% or more over the previous year.

Best Workplace Campaign Kickoff- Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Lake County Public Library. Most effective employee workplace kickoff that engages employees and gets them excited about the annual community campaign.

Labor Partner of the Year- USW Locals 1066, 1014, 5133, and 2695. The Labor Partner of the Year is awarded to a local union that engages in a collaborative partnership with management and United Way to implement strategies that support a strong workplace campaign.

Million Dollar Roundtable- BP, Community Healthcare System, US Steel. The Million Dollar Roundtable represents corporations and organizations that have contributed $1 million dollars or more to Lake Area United Way’s Annual Community Campaign in the last 10 years.

Volunteer Lake County Awards

Agency Partner of the Year- Tradewinds Services. This award honors a nonprofit partner that has gone above and beyond to help Lake Area United Way achieve our community goals. Whether it’s by helping us create opportunities for volunteer projects or helping connect us to community members in need, this organization is always willing to step up and give of their time to help United Way help the community.

Company on the Rise- Unilever. This award recognizes a company that has taken impressive steps to create or increase their volunteer activities in the community.

VLC Webmaster- Campagna Academy. This award recognizes and organization that is using the Volunteer Lake County! website to its fullest potential to recruit volunteers.

Individuals- Dave & Rose Sikes, Kathy Petyo, Gene & Jean Wease. This award recognizes individuals and small groups that have gone above and beyond in terms of volunteering for the Lake Area United Way.

Individual Awards

Legacy Award- Al Spajer. Legacy Award is a new award that was created to honor a person who has dedicated a significant number of years to helping United Way reach its goals and improve our communities.

Loyal Contributors- Cal Bellamy, Dave & Rose Sikes, Dave Koester, Desila Rosetti, Gene & Jean Wease, Gordon Johnson, Dr. Elizabeth Sengupta, Joyce Gorczynski, Richard Matthews, Zora Ludwig. This award goes to anyone who has been a donor for 10 or more years.

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