United Way celebrates CMU contributions, names sweepstakes winner


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united_way_logMount Pleasant organization United Way of Isabella County announced the winner to its “Drive to Give” sweepstakes during half-time at the men’s basketball game Jan. 17.

Vickie Dawe of St. Louis was the recipient of a 24-month lease on a 2014 Chevy Cruze, courtesy of Graff Chevrolet in Mount Pleasant. Dawe, a sales representative at Brandt Industries, was one of 17 finalists entered in the sweepstakes for donating $100 or more.

“I have perma-grin ever since they announced it,” Dawe said. “I have never won anything like this and it’s something I can use.”

Dawe, who had been in need of a new car, has donated to the organization for a number of years through a payroll system at her work.

“I think it’s a fabulous organization,” Dawe said. “I’m proud to support it.”

In addition to announcing the sweepstakes winner, Central Michigan University President George Ross, along with CMU campaign co-chairs Ed and Shelly Hinck, presented United Way of Isabella County with a check for $68,445 to contribute to the organization’s community-wide fundraising goal. This amount was raised and donated by a combination of students, faculty and staff members.

Tom Olver, United Way of Isabella County president and CEO, said the CMU campaign generated $727,496 during the last decade.

“CMU is a terrific community partner, and the faculty, staff and students consistently give of their time, talent and treasure to make a real difference in the lives of our families, friends and neighbors,” Olver said.

Ed Hinck, a communication and dramatic arts professor, and his wife Shelly, are serving as CMU co-chairs this year for the first time, although their involvement with United Way goes back several years.

“You can really see the faces of the people that the United Way campaign helps out,” Hinck said. “You know that the money goes toward programs that have a direct effect on people’s lives.”

Hinck said he has seen an increase in student involvement in the CMU campaign in recent years. With the addition of Dance United, more students and members of Student Government Association are becoming interested and involved with the goals of United Way.

“That makes it seem more like it’s a stronger CMU community,” Hinck said. “It’s not just a faculty member that might write a check.”

Now that the community-wide campaign is nearing its goal, members of United Way will begin brainstorming for future events and fundraisers.

“We sit down and we kind of think about what we want to do differently,” Hinck said. “What worked, what didn’t work so well (and) what are some ideas for the next campaign?"

The United Way Community Campaign has raised $415,697 out of its $450,000 goal for the year.


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