United Way hosted its Campaign Celebration event to recognize local businesses and organizations that ran outstanding fundraising campaigns and volunteer year-round on behalf of United Way. Those in attendance were also among the first to learn how much had been raised during the organization’s annual fundraising campaign. More than 320 community leaders and volunteers gathered at Foxwoods Resort Casino to celebrate the achievement.
At the event, 2015-16 United Way Campaign Co-chairs Nikki Gullickson, Assistant Superintendent of Stonington Schools and Donna Yother, President of SAVA Insurance Group in Waterford, announced that $5,924,400 was raised. This amount marks a 2% increase over last year.
"As individuals we can only accomplish so much," noted Brian A. Orenstein, President and CEO of Charter Oak Federal Credit Union and Chair of United Way’s Board of Directors. "But by coming together and focusing our resources and energy towards the fight against hunger, providing a safety net for those in need, and supporting a network of 70 local health and human services, we have the strength to lift up the entire community."
United Way’s highest honor, the Chairman’s Award of Excellence, was presented to Electric Boat and the Electric Boat Employees Community Services Association. The company provided a corporate gift of $350,000 with the employees donating $1,825,000 for a total donation of $2,175,000. This amount is an increase of 11.2% over last year, and means that they also received a “Breakthrough Award” for giving more than $2 million.
Electric Boat employees volunteer throughout the year, especially when it comes to collecting food for the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center, a program operated by United Way. In total, all of the food drives that Electric Boat employees ran collected nearly 107,000 pounds of food, or the equivalent of nearly 90,000 meals for those facing hunger.
Other high honors were presented to Mohegan Sun as Community Leader of the Year, Norwich Public Utilities as United Way Partner of the Year, Spirit of the Community to Zachry Nuclear Engineering, and Foxwoods Resort Casino/MPTN for Innovative Partner of the Year. Foxwoods also received a “Breakthrough Award” for topping $100,000 in employee giving.
Other awards presented at the event were:
- Ambassador of the Year – John Gilliland, Martin House
- Heart of the Community – Dime Bank
- Campaign Volunteer of the Year – Kim Deschamps
- Community Investment Volunteer of the Year – Penny Stanley
- Leadership Giving Campaign of the Year – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union
- Agency Campaign Committee of the Year – Madonna Place
- School Campaign Committee of the Year – New London Public Schools
- Campaign Committee of the Year -- Pfizer
- Employee Campaign Performance of the Year – NLC Insurance Companies
- Corporate Support of the Year – Applied Physical Sciences
- Loyal Company of the Year -- Dominion
- Outstanding Achievement Awards – Scient Federal Credit Union, Monsanto, Norwich Free Academy, and Comcast
- Media Partner of the Year – The Day
- Labor Partnership of the Year – Southeastern CT Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
- Small Business of the Year – SAVA Insurance Group
- New Partner of the Year – Frontier Communications
- Nonprofit Partner of the Year – Martin House
- Town Partner of the Year – Town of Groton
- City Partner of the Year – City of Groton
- School Partner of the Year – Norwich Public Schools
- Manufacturer of the Year – Freeport-McMoRan, Inc.
- Retail Partner of the Year – Macy’s
- Auto Dealer of the Year – My Whaling City
- College Partner of the Year – Connecticut College
- Law Firm of the Year – Faulkner & Graves
- Bank Partner of the Year – Chelsea Groton Bank
- New Campaign Coordinator of the Year – Jennifer LeMay, Montville Public Schools
- School Campaign Coordinator of the Year – Cindy Beauregard, Norwich Public Schools
- Agency Campaign Coordinator of the Year – Nancy Cowser, UCFS
- Campaign Coordinator of the Year – Michele Addabbo, Norwich Public Utilities
The Campaign Celebration was sponsored by Foxwoods Resort Casino/Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation so that no donor dollars were used towards the event.