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United Way raises over $800,000; thanks volunteers, donors & staff

More than $800,000 in pledges have been collected by the United Way of Southeast Missouri in its 2015 fundraising campaign. That number will continue to grow as the final campaign figures dribble in.

“We’re excited about that amount. We’re excited about moving that number up,” said Executive Director Elizabeth Shelton at a celebration April 14 to thank volunteers, donors and staff members. Shelton said she was “even more excited” about the changes those funds can make when put to use in the community.

After Shelton thanked the sponsors, donors and media outlets for their contributions, Board of Directors President Donna Denson added, “We want to thank our very many volunteers who give one of the most precious resources we have, which is time.”

The Spirit of Giving Award went to Kevin Greaser, former United Way board president, for investing significant time and/or financial resources.

The Fran Rediger Award of Excellence was presented to Carolyn Ford Bock for her volunteer work in Read to Succeed.

The Spirit of Caring Award was presented to Big Brothers, Big Sisters, for promoting, supporting and embracing United Way’s work.

Nicholle Hinkle, director of donor relations, said 84 percent of money raised during a campaign comes from companies and organizations (and their employees). She presented the Spirit of Community Award to 1st Midwest Bank.

Jake Blatnik of Procter & Gamble received the Employee Campaign Coordinator of the Year Award.

Ambassador of the Year went to campaign chairs Benjie Ferguson and Lee Ann Tally.

The three WOW Awards went to Procter & Gamble, Mondi and Ameren. P&G had the largest increase in the number of Leadership Society members (22). Mondi showed the largest increase in a workplace that raised over $1,000 — it had a 1,106 percent increase. And Ameren had the highest per capita giving for a workplace with more than 10 employees. Ameren employees averaged donations of $276.45 each.

Gift certificates were awarded to 20 people whose names were drawn from among those who qualified for step-up challenge prizes by adding at least $1 a week to their pledges.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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