June 8, 2016

UNITED WAY OF NORTHWEST VERMONT Honors 75-year Legacy of Former United Way of Chittenden County

The 75-year Legacy of Former United Way of Chittenden County Was Honored and Community Impact and Campaign Award Winners Were Announced.

On May 24, 2016 a crowd of over 300 gathered to honor the legacy of the former United Way of Chittenden County and celebrate the success of the 2015 Community Campaign and that raised $3.6 million to support local programs, strategic initiatives and volunteer recruitment efforts. At the celebration, United Way presented five annual awards to individuals and businesses deserving of recognition for their campaign participation and dedication to United Way’s mission.

United Way of Northwest Vermont is a leader of community change and improvement, investing strategically in programs and initiatives in the areas of education, income and health. In addition to mobilizing volunteers and making targeted financial investments to support human services programs, the organization unites nonprofits, government, businesses, and thousands of individuals with shared goals to collaborate. On April 1, 2016, United Way of Chittenden County and Franklin-Grand Isle United Way united as one organization to form United Way of Northwest Vermont, which will proudly serve all three Vermont counties.

Welcoming attendees, president of the Board of Directors Michael Seaver reflected on the organization’s legacy of 75 years of community service as United Way of Chittenden County. “United Way of Chittenden County has convened countless conversations, strategized hundreds of successful solutions, raised many millions of dollars, and mobilized thousands of people to work together to accomplish acts of generosity and impact in service to our neighbors,” said Seaver. “Over the past year, it’s been so rewarding to see these two nonprofit organizations come together and reach the agreement to unite. We conducted a thorough, thoughtful and careful process through which we ultimately elected to embrace change for the betterment of our community.”

Executive Director Martha Maksym Maksym presented the highly coveted Community Impact Award, which honors extraordinary individuals and organizations that positively impact our community. The 2016 award was presented to collaboration of organizations and neighbors who supported the development of Beacon Apartments, which welcomed formerly chronic homeless individuals as new residents in January of 2016:

● Champlain Housing Trust
● The University of Vermont Medical Center
● Safe Harbor Health Center of CHCB
● Fanny Allen Foundation
● Burlington Housing Authority
● Vermont Agency of Human Services Department for Children and Families
● Vermont Housing & Conservation Board
● Friends of Beacon Apartments

“A home to these individuals means exactly the same thing a home means to you and me. The collaboration between these amazing community members is a shining example of the power of working together to make an impact,” said Maksym. “These individuals and organizations were critical partners in planning and implementing this space to provide its residents an opportunity to rise above the struggles of homelessness. The result is priceless – the lives of these new residents have truly been changed as a result of this work.”

Celebrating the success of the 2015 Community Campaign, United Way Director of Resource Development John Cronin, announced the workplace campaign award winners. PC Construction was awarded Campaign of the Year for hosting a campaign that engaged a diverse group of employees who surpassed their campaign goal and raised more than $55,000 for the community. In his awards presentation, Cronin said, “PC Construction demonstrated to us a willingness to achieve above and beyond in ways that are remarkable and inspiring. They hosted a powerful campaign infused with the essence of the United Way mission – to bring people together to accomplish a shared goal.”

The leadership of Vermont Federal Credit Union and Cynthia Turner were named Keypersons of the Year for leading their company’s campaign to overwhelming success. Comcast was honored with the annual LIVE UNITED Award for engaging the whole community in the United Way call to action to Give, Advocate and Volunteer throughout the year. NBT Bank and AllEarth Renewables, Inc. took home the Affinity Award for exceptional campaign participation and leadership.

Also at the event, Michael Seaver, President of the United Way of Northwest Vermont Board of Directors honored retiring board members Michell Langlais, Joe Speidel, Roger Hess, Pam Mackenzie, and Denise Puisto for their many years of service.

The event was supported by presenting sponsor TD Bank, supporting sponsor Free Press Media, and a number of tickets were made available free of charge by Golden Ticket sponsors Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew; Comcast; WPTZ; VT Systems; UVM Medical Center; University of Vermont; PC Construction; Paul Frank + Collins; and Hickok & Boardman.

You can find photos of the event HERE.

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To truly make a change, we MUST work together. Now is the time to raise the bar and expect a better quality of life for our neighbors who struggle. If we all give the best way we can, we can make our community the best it can be. There’s a place for everyone at our table – join us and get involved in a way that’s meaningful for you.