United Way of Isabella County honored hard-working members of the community while celebrating the end of this year’s community-wide fundraising campaign.
Among those honored was CMU Student Campaign chairman Andrew Brown. Brown originally got involved in United Way through a class project in 2012, and it was from that project that Dance United, one of the organization’s major on-campus events, was born.
“Just from that class I was able to learn about our community and what our community needs,” Brown said. “Now the position has turned into a student United Way organization on campus, and we’re trying to provide leadership through service.”
Brown, who received the Emerging Leader Award, plans to continue his involvement with United Way in the future. There are plans in motion to set up a Speak United series which will highlight campus, community and state-wide leaders.
In addition, Brown hopes to initiate a week of fundraising put on by the new student group that will include participation from the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center, the Residence Hall Assembly as well as the Greek Community on campus.
By 4:30 p.m., the Commission Chambers of City Hall in Mount Pleasant was packed with community leaders and volunteers, enjoying refreshments and performances by students from the Central Michigan University School of Music. Student-led a capella group Fish N Chips performed before the Live United Awards and Campaign Celebration.
When the Thursday celebration officially began, it was revealed that through the community, United Way has raised $456,104 this year. The CMU campaign contributed $70,025 of that total.
Others presented with awards included Dan Eversole of Isabella Bank, who won the Quality of Life Award, and Tina Powell of Robert F. Murray & Co., who received the President’s Award. Outstanding members from some of United Way’s 25 affiliate partners in the community were also honored.
“We are blessed to have tremendous community support,” said Director Tom Olver. “2,014 people contributed to this year’s campaign.”
Following the awards celebration, which was sponsored by Members First Credit Union, United Way held its annual board meeting during which new trustees and officers were elected. CMU’s Renee Shingles was elected as the new chairwoman of the board of trustees for the following year. Next year’s community campaign goal has been set at $495,000.
To Brown, it is essential that United Way acknowledges its hard workers and loyal members to ensure future years of dedicated volunteering.
“It’s important because it encourages you, it inspires you and it renews a fire inside everyone,” Brown said. “By having that feeling, it allows individuals or an organization to be more, learn more and become more in an effort to ignite a social change movement.”