The Pettis County chapter of the United Way met Feb. 15 at Best Western State Fair Motor Inn, 32nd and Limit, for their 2013 Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon.
Outgoing United Way Board President Tammi Kreisel opened up the luncheon by welcoming those in attendance.
“I thank you all for coming today so that we can show our appreciation for all you have done in making the 2012-13 campaign successful.
“Even though we may have not met our financial goal we know our agencies are still making a difference in the lives of the people who live right here with the dollars that were raised,” Kreisel said.
Before the lunch portion of the event began, Rev. Jack Menges gave the invocation.
Kreisel went on to introduce several members of the Pettis County United Way including, Linda Kirk, Executive Director; Deidre Esquivel, 2012 Campaign Chair; Chris Stewart, President Elect; Roger Austin– 2012 Financial Review Chair; Paul Dick, 2013 Campaign Chair; and Brent Bates, 2013 Financial Review Chair.
Bates gave special recognition to the Pettis County Children’s Fund, as well as a deserving couple.
“Today special recognition goes to the Pettis County Children’s Fund, one of the original 12 agencies to be selected in 1958 to participate in the very first United Fund campaign.
“Originally the organization was called Pettis County Child Welfare Service. All through the years funding has been used for children under the state’s care whose needs cannot be met otherwise,” Bates said.
He added, “As of January 1, 2013 the Pettis County Children’s Fund is no longer in operation due to circumstances out of their control.”
Bates also recognized the contributions of a husband and wife team that has done much for the United Way.
“We would also like to recognize Major Mark and Major Sue Haslett. They will be retiring in July and will not be participating in the campaign this fall.
“They have made plans to live in Warsaw where they can fish and enjoy the peace and quiet.
“While in Sedalia the Haslett’s have expanded the Red Shield Cafe lunch and breakfast program; fed hungry children through the Summer Food Program the last three years, expanding the outreach from 14,365 lunches the first year to 29,600 this past summer,” Bates explained.
President Elect Chris Stewart introduced several new board members during the luncheon that include John Simmons and Edie Reaves. Ray Smith will be filling out the term of Marcy Fritz and Cindy Gunter was the presidential appointee.
Waterloo Industries won the award for the Industrial Division. Katy Trail Community Health won the Professional Division. The Government Division Award went to the City of Sedalia and the award for the Education Division went to the Sedalia 200 School District.
The 100 percent Employee Award went to Callis and Associates, while the Creative Campaign Award went to Alcan Cable.
The Spirit Award was given to the teachers from the Sedalia 200 School District.
“I feel compelled this morning to tell you about the great teachers in our community. This week Terri Paul and I have been processing the Sedalia School District 200 UW campaign donation and as we went through the donations we realized we had pledge cards, but also checks from some of the same teachers. We wanted to make sure that the teachers meant to send a pledge card even though they had included a personal check.
“As the story has unraveled we became aware that teachers were contributing money on behalf of their students who could not afford to give during their school’s campaign. What a powerful lesson for all of us. This would have gone totally unnoticed had we not questioned the duplications,” 2012 Campaign Chair Deidre Esquivel said.
The two highest recognition awards for the year went to Tyson Foods, Inc. and ProEnergy Services.
Tyson Food received the Award for Highest Giving. They contributed $90,343 for this past year’s campaign.
ProEnergy received the Award for Highest Per Capita Giving. ProEnergy donated $78,071 for the 2012 campaign.
Pettis County United Way officials have reported the 2012-13 campaign has drawn to a close and it raised $520,244. That is $54,756 short of its targeted $575,000 goal to meet the needs of the 24 human-service programs who receive funding through United Way.
Though they did not reach their goal, the effort put forth by everyone exemplified the spirit of giving in Pettis County. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.