UWKV RAISES $1,910,377 FOR LOCAL NONPROFIT AND SCHOOL-BASED PROGRAMS

United Way of Kennebec Valley (UWKV) revealed a record-breaking fundraising achievement, announcing a total of $1,910,377 for its 2023 campaign.

AUGUSTA – United Way of Kennebec Valley (UWKV) revealed a record-breaking fundraising achievement, announcing a total of $1,910,377 for its 2023 campaign. This amount reflects a substantial 4% increase over the previous year’s total. The announcement was made on Thursday morning during UWKV’s sold-out Campaign Celebration at Governor Hill Mansion, where Campaign Co-Chairs Michele Pelletier and Daniel Webster III shared the exciting news.

Pelletier, president & CEO of Performance Foodservice – NorthCenter, and Webster, retired from the State of Maine, played a pivotal role in encouraging new donors from the community to contribute to United Way. Their initiative included a personal dollar-for-dollar match for new contributions, up to $10,000, resulting in 311 new donors and an additional $48,768 in new funds for UWKV’s annual fundraising efforts.

“We are beyond proud of our community for blowing this goal out of the water,” said Webster. “To see so many new donors in a year with steep inflation, environmental disasters and many nonprofits asking for money to support capital campaigns, is truly remarkable and a testament to where we live.”

The funds raised during the campaign will have a significant impact on supporting UWKV’s 58 health and human service programs across Kennebec County throughout 2024. These programs focus on enhancing access to health, education and financial stability for all, aligning with the goals of the Impact2032 movement – a community-wide initiative dedicated to creating lasting, positive change throughout the county.

These programs combined serve more than 32,000 people in Kennebec Valley – many of them identifying as ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, an acronym for people in the community who have income above the Federal Poverty Level but struggle to afford the basics in their county. In Kennebec County, 42% of households live below that ALICE Threshold, while only 12% of that figure are people living in poverty. The event featured a testimonial from Sara Wing, a Kennebec County resident who identifies as ALICE.

“We were without power for over 30 hours after the ‘Grinch Storm,’” said Wing. “We lost everything in our fridge and freezer, and this happened right before Christmas, which is already a huge financial strain on us. We are still trying to recover.”

Wing’s story is just one from the thousands of Kennebec County households that cannot make ends meet. As part of UWKV’s work, the organization is advocating for public policy changes to provide more recognition and resources to ALICE families across the state.

During the event, Pelletier and Webster also recognized outstanding businesses with several awards. MSAD 11 received the Public Service Partner of the Year award for raising close to $3,000, while Laflin & Wolfington Realty was honored as the Small Business Partner of the Year for its innovative fundraising initiative resulting in a $50,000 pledge paid out over five years. G&E Roofing’s staff earned the Employee Campaign Manager of the Year award for increasing the company’s workplace campaign by 5%, contributing over $95,000.

Kennebec Savings Bank was presented with the Large Business Partner of the Year award for an impressive 8% increase in its workplace giving and enhanced local community involvement by providing the company’s first loaned executive to UWKV’s fall campaign. Wiswell Electric received the New Campaign Partner of the Year award for being the first business located in Clinton to host a workplace campaign for its employees. Additionally, Charlie’s Family of Dealerships received the Chairpersons’ Recognition Award for expanding its campaign efforts, resulting in a 5% increase amounting to $209,000.

UWKV President and CEO Courtney Yeager presented the Norm Temple Community Volunteer Award posthumously to Bruce Osborne for his lifelong service to the Kennebec Valley. Yeager also honored Chuck and Maria Hays with the Rob Gordon Community Builder Award for their ongoing commitment to the entire region.

During the annual meeting, Nate Curtis, of Gagnon Dental, was elected as board chair, and Kerry Smart of Thomas College was elected board vice-chair through 2024. Cheryl Flewelling of Raymond James Financial Services was reelected to the board treasurer position.

United Way also welcomed four new board members for an initial three-year board term: Amanda Cooley (Kennebec Savings Bank), Rene Davis (Kents Hill School), Rebecca Tibbetts (Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate), and Martha Wentworth (Allen Insurance & Financial). Two board members, Mike Santo (Wipfli) and Stephen Cooper (Team EJP), were elected to serve a second three-year term, and Katie Doherty (Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce) was elected to a one-year emeritus position. The organization bid farewell to termed-out board members Doherty, Eric Lind (community volunteer), Jessica Norton (Kennebec Savings Bank), Pam Rogers (Cross Insurance Agency), and Amy Tardiff (J.S. McCarthy Printers).

The success of the 2023 fundraising campaign underscores the community’s generosity and commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people in need throughout Kennebec County. UWKV looks forward to continuing its mission and creating lasting change in collaboration with its dedicated supporters.

For more information, high-resolution images and live quotes, contact Michelle Tibbetts at mtibbetts@uwkv.org or 207-626-3400.

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