United Way of Florence County recognizes top donors
United Way of Florence County celebrated its top donors and announced partner agency allocations for fiscal year 22/23 at its annual Awards and Allocation Luncheon on June 21 at St. Luke Lutheran Church.
The event also highlighted the organization’s ongoing transition to a new model designed to address the community’s greatest needs.
The top company giver for 2021-22 was PGBA/Blue Cross Blue Shield. The top individual donors were Florence-area philanthropists Roger Hux and Julia Krebs.
The top two company givers at all levels of giving were also recognized. Assurant received the Platinum Award for donations of $70,000 and up; McLeod Health and WestRock received Gold awards for donations of $40,000 to $69,999; the City of Florence and Pepsi Cola of Florence received Silver awards for donations of $10,000 to $39,999; and Ruiz Food Products, Inc. and UPS received Bronze awards for donations of $5,000 to $9,999.
UWFC also presented a Live United Award to Field Fastener for its dedication to living out United Way’s mission through 100 percent workplace campaign participation and volunteer service. Pepsi Cola of Florence received a Campaign Advancement Award for increasing its company-wide donation by nearly 50 percent.
QVC received UWFC’s Partnership award for an innovative program made possible by product donations that have generated nearly $40,000 that UWFC is reinvesting in the community.
Partner allocations totaled $500,000, and organizations with programs supported by UWFC received letters announcing funding levels.
UWFC Board of Directors Chairperson Les Ward said the luncheon is an important way to honor those who play an important role in United Way’s mission – company donors, individual donors, and partner organizations.
“I continue to be proud of the work that Florence-area businesses and individuals do to support the United Way’s mission,” Ward said. “I’m particularly proud that this has been a year of innovation, in which we have found new ways to serve this community. I see nothing but good things ahead for United Way.”
The keynote speaker for the luncheon was Rich Rowlett, site leader at Field Fastener’s Florence location. Rowlett emphasized the importance of commitment to community.
UWFC Board Member Mackenzie Webb addressed the organization’s upcoming move from the traditional community chest model to the collective impact model, in which resources are directed to the key issues facing the community.
Webb, chair of the task force charged with implementing the new model, said the new approach will allow UWFC to have a greater impact on the fundamental needs of the Florence County community.
Webb said the task force’s main priority now is to obtain input on community priorities. A community-wide survey is available on the organization’s website, and a series of community conversations will be held across the county from now until September. UWFC encourages all members of the community to join the conversation.
UWFC Director of Resource Development Sarah Sweeney said the event was important in connecting donors and recipients and in sharing information about our organization’s next steps and obtaining input.
“United Way has a 65-year history of contributing to the growth of this community,” said Sweeney. “With the help of our donors and partners, we’re committed to continuing and expanding that commitment.”