June 9, 2016

UNITED WAY OF NORTHWEST VERMONT Honors Legacy of Former Franklin-Grand Isle United Way

On June 8, 2016 in Saint Albans, VT, a crowd of over 100 gathered to honor the legacy of the former Franklin-Grand Isle United Way and celebrate the success of the 2015 Community Campaign that raised nearly $400,000 to support local programs and volunteer recruitment efforts. At the celebration, United Way honored 14 individuals with Legacy Awards and presented six Campaign Awards to individuals and businesses in grateful 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 United Way of Northwest Vermont Board of Directors Michael Seaver reflected on the organization’s legacy of community service as Franklin-Grand Isle United Way. “Over the years, Franklin Grand Isle United Way raised millions of dollars and helped thousands of people through our annual Community Campaign, programs like Operation Happiness, and a number of community events that rallied community support. The impact in this community is tremendous,” said Seaver. “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.”

Former President of the Board of Directors Tina Mueller presented Legacy Awards, honoring commitment and contributions to the Franklin-Grand Isle United Way’s legacy of success:

● Karin Berno
● Leon Berthiaume
● Marilyn Billings
● Sally Bortz
● Edna Chagnon
● Joe Halko
● Warren & Barbara Hamm
● Kathy Lavoie
● Emerson Lynn
● Jeff Moreau
● Sally Sargent
● Kevin Scheffler
● Ted Tyler

“These people are volunteers, donors, partners, Board members and friends who went above and beyond to help establish this organization, nurture us and help us succeed,” said Mueller. “ It was because of their support that we were able to make a difference in our community.”
Celebrating the success of the 2015 Community Campaign, United Way Director of Resource Development John Cronin, announced the Campaign award winners. Northwestern Medical Center was awarded Community Giving Award for hosting a campaign that engaged employees in acts of volunteerism as well as philanthropy. In his awards presentation, Cronin said, “Volunteering provided the employees of Northwestern Medical Center the opportunity to collaborate, plan and participate in community-wide impact.”

Northwestern Medical Center’s Janet Havrilko was named Keyperson of the Year for leading company’s campaign to overwhelming success. A.N. Deringer, and The Tyler Place Family Resort were honored with the Corporate Giving Award for their leadership and tradition of giving. Recognizing their culture philanthropic loyalty as a corporation and as individuals, the What’s Right in the Community Award was presented to WestRock Missisquoi Mill. Kathy Lavoie was recognized as Ambassador of the Year for her remarkable outreach to the community and volunteer leadership.

At the event, Tina Mueller announced that former board members Sally Bortz, Chris Chagnon, Marty Fletcher, Becky Manahan and Sally Sargeant have transitioned onto the United Way of Northwest Vermont Board of Directors to represent Franklin and Grand Isle counties. Mueller also expressed sincere gratitude to retiring board members for their many years of service:

● Mary Lou Beaulieu
● Chris Chagnon
● John Chesarek
● Marty Fletcher
● Patty Gale
● Marilyn Grunewald
● Alex Lehning
● Danielle Lindley
● Becky Manahan
● Terri O’Shea
● Sally Sargent
● Casey Scandore
● Rhonda Somers-Fletcher
● Samantha Thomas

The event was supported by sponsor Green Mountain Power and received in-kind support from the Bliss Room at the Saint Albans Museum.

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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.