United Way of Southeastern Connecticut hosted its Campaign Celebration event on May 5th to recognize local businesses and organizations that ran outstanding fundraising campaigns and volunteer year-round on behalf of United Way. More than 350 community leaders and volunteers gathered at Mohegan Sun to celebrate around the theme "Anyone can be a hero."
The Campaign Celebration was sponsored by Mohegan Sun and the subsequent snack packing project was sponsored by the MDA-UAW Local 571 so that no donor dollars were used towards the event.
United Way’s highest honor, the Chairman’s Award of Excellence, was presented to Mohegan Sun and its employees. The company is a Platinum level United Way Corporate Benefactor and sponsors a “loaned employee” each year to assist United Way staff.
Mohegan Sun employees are actively engaged in the community as volunteers. In honor of their 20th anniversary last October, they held twenty Day of Caring volunteer projects throughout the community. They serve as Volunteer Readers, distribute food each month at United Way’s Mobile Pantry, help out at the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center, set-up for and distribute toys at the Tommy Toy Fund, and serve on many United Way committees. In the past year they have run drives to collect toys, winter coats, and food. Additionally, they donate linens, office supplies, and equipment to share with United Way partner agencies.
In its 2016-17 United Way Campaign, Mohegan Sun experienced a 23% increase in participation, 82% increase in employee giving, and a 250% increase in Leadership Giving (those donating $1,000 or more annually). In addition, they received a "Breakthrough" Award for topping the $100,000 mark in overall giving.
Other high honors were presented to Electric Boat and the EB Employees’ Community Services Association as Community Leader of the Year, NLC Insurance Companies as United Way Partner of the Year, the Heart of the Community to Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation/Foxwoods Resort Casino, and Bonnie Marson received the Campaign Coordinator of the Year. Please click here for a complete list of award winners.
In addition to the awards presentation, 2015-17 United Way Campaign Co-chairs Nikki Gullickson, Assistant Superintendent of Stonington Schools and Donna Yother, President of SAVA Insurance Group in Waterford, announced that $4,693,643 was raised. The outgoing co-chairs also announced the incoming co-chairs for the 2017-18 United Way Campaign will be Nadine McBride, publisher of The Bulletin and William Louis, president of the MDA-UAW Local 571.
After the program, all guests were invited "be a hero" and participate in a brief volunteer project to assemble 1,000 health snack packs in less than 30 minutes for local students facing hunger and food insecurity. Each snack pack contains a milk box, apple sauce cup, granola bar, and other healthful items. The packs will be distributed to local schools for staff and teachers to hand out to their students they see may be struggling.
To view a slide show of the event on our Facebook page, please click here.