The United Way Announces Over $1 Million Raised for La Porte County in 2012 Campaign

2013-03-29T13:36:00Z The United Way Announces Over $1 Million Raised for La Porte County in 2012 CampaignContributed by Laurie Wink Development Manager United Way of LaPorte County

MICHIGAN CITY | United Way of LaPorte County exceeded its goal by raising more than $1,012,000 in the 2012 Campaign. The announcement came at the Victory Celebration Breakfast on Thursday at the Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa. Nearly 200 people attended the celebration, highlighted by the presentation of four service awards and special recognition for a long-serving community volunteer.

United Way donations support 22 partner agencies and several other initiatives that impact people’s lives every day, according to Dave Sisk, United Way community investment manager.

“Donors have been very generous to United Way of LaPorte County,” Sisk said. “Our employee campaigns continue to thrive and we are so thankful to the many local businesses that help grow our campaign year after year.”

Andy Neal, United Way Board of Directors chairperson, presented special awards to four individuals.

Joe Coar, Tonn & Blank vice president of operations, received the John A. Garrettson Award. The annual award is presented to a volunteer who best exemplifies service to the community. Dunebrook, the United Way partner agency that nominated Coar, received $1,000 from the fund established in Garrettson’s name.

The Burton B. Ruby Award was presented to Jack Elia, assistant general manager of Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa. The award is named in honor of Burton B. (Bud) Ruby, chair emeritus of the United Way of LaPorte County Board of Directors, and recognizes individuals for distinctive leadership in serving the community and United Way.

The Chairman’s Leadership Award went to Dan Dobbins, president of Fiber Bond Corp., in recognition of is special service contributions. Dobbins is currently the United Way board treasurer and a member of the Campaign Cabinet.

Bill Hackney, publishers of The Herald Argus and The News-Dispatch, received the Media Award, the first award of its kind made by the United Way of LaPorte County. The award was given in recognition of outstanding news coverage on behalf of the United Way.

Special recognition was given to Phyllis Waters, who passed away in January at the age of 100, for her long-time service as a community volunteer. She was on the Board of Directors of United Way of LaPorte County, the Michigan City Chamber of Commerce, St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital and Junior Achievement. She was the first female member of the Michigan City Rotary Club and was active for many years in the La Porte County League of Women voters. Doug Waters has taken over his mother’s business, Century 21 Long Beach Realty, and spoke about the impact of his mother’s legacy of giving back to the community on his own life.

The 2012 Campaign was co-chaired by Dobbins and Dr. Glade Montgomery, superintendent of La Porte Community School Corporation. Montgomery will serve as the 2013 Campaign co-chair with Charlie Roberts, assistant vice present of Horizon Bank in Michigan City.

Kris Pate, who became executive director of United Way of LaPorte County one year ago, said, “La Porte County is blessed to have so many people who continue to demonstrate that we truly are ‘Better Together,’” said Pate.

United Way of LaPorte County’s mission is to improve people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of the community. It advances the common good by focusing on education, financial stability, and health -- the building blocks of a quality life. United Way of LaPorte County recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise, and resources necessary to get things done in the community. It partners with 22 local agencies to provide programs and assistance aimed at meeting the basic needs of people in LaPorte County. For information about how to give, advocate, and volunteer, visit or call 219-210-3534.

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