United Way of Hancock County will host a sock hop to kick off this year’s campaign and celebrate its 60th anniversary. The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 10 at Alexandria’s banquet hall, 132 E. Crawford St. Trivia and prizes, music, food and a cash bar will be featured. Since United Way was established in 1955, attendees are encouraged to wear 1950s sock hop attire. The evening will also feature the video launch of a United Way music parody featuring local youths and adults. The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required by Sept. 7 by calling 419-423-1432 or visiting LiveUnitedHancockCounty.org.
Heading this year’s campaign team are co-chairs Larry and Janelle Busdeker. Larry Busdeker, superintendent for the Hancock County Educational Service Center, has been involved in the community and with United Way for many years. Past volunteer and leadership positions include: president of Findlay Rotary Club, chair of Camp Fire of Northwest Ohio board, chair of Challenged Champions Equestrian Center board, board member of Hancock County Crimestoppers, member of the Workforce Investment Act policy board and Workforce Development Coalition. Past United Way involvement includes: chair of the United Way board; receiving the United Way Distinguished Volunteer Award in 2010 and serving as past education and rural campaign division chairs. He has also served as president of the Ohio Association of Local School Superintendents.
Janelle Busdeker had a 30-year career at Findlay High School, during which she was awarded the C. Robert Baker Award, the Bowling Green State University High School Speech Teacher Award and the Rotary Golden Apple Award. Upon retirement, she worked seven years for a local jeweler. Today, she enjoys managing family-owned properties in Wood County. Her involvement in the community has included serving on the Rotary Golden Apple Committee, the Findlay Youth Orchestra board, the Findlay Hope House for the Homeless board, the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church board and Trinity Lutheran Church’s Family Life and Youth Team (FLYT) and their 125th Anniversary Committee. She also volunteers at the Hancock Historical Museum and the Hope Circle group of Trinity Lutheran Church. She is a proud member of the Alpha Sigma chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Women’s Sorority and currently serves as its education and legislative chair.
Dale Laws is the corporate division chair. Currently working as the vice president of Findlay operations for Whirlpool Corp., Laws has also been involved with United Way of Hancock County as a past professional division chair. He also served as a board member for Boy Scouts of America Black Swamp Council and Findlay Hope House for the Homeless. He was also a part of the Economic Development Advisory board and was a board member and volunteer chair with the Tulsa Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity.
Chairing this year’s commercial division is Roger Barton. Barton is the general manager of the Reineke Family Dealerships in Findlay and a member of United Way’s Gaslight Society. He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Findlay and serves on the board for the American Red Cross Hancock County Chapter.
Heading the education division is Randy C. Ward. Ward is a retired administrator of 29 years for Findlay City Schools and a retired supervisor with the Hancock Educational Service Center. He also has been a volunteer for the Backyard Mission Trip.
Tony Konecny is the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate division co-chair. He is State Bank and Trust Co.’s senior vice president and regional real estate sales manager. Past United Way involvement includes volunteering with Days of Caring events. Other past volunteer positions he has held include volunteering with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Boy Scouts of America Black Swamp Council.
Scott Poling serves as co-chair for the FIRE division with Konecny. Poling is vice president and mortgage loan originator for State Bank. He has volunteered for many United Way Days of Caring events and was a fundraising chair for the Black Swamp Area Council Boy Scouts’ annual campaign. He has also volunteered for the Arts Partnership. He has received numerous President Circle awards for his banking work.
Kim Cosiano is the health division chair. Cosiano taught and volunteered in Findlay City Schools for many years as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, Literacy and Mentoring Program coordinator, Donnell Parent Advisory Council member, medical mentorship facilitator and a test administrator for gifted services. She is a part-time reading interventionist for Lincoln Elementary School. She was a member of Findlay Service League and was awarded both the Volunteer of the Year Award and the Spirit of Findlay Service League Award. She currently serves on a committee for the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts.
This year’s mercantile division is chaired by Kay Hoane. Hoane retired as a teacher for Liberty-Benton Local Schools after 26 years of teaching kindergarten. In 2002, she became the owner of Mother Hubbard’s Learning Cupboard. She is a volunteer for Relay for Life, the Mazza Museum and Howard United Methodist Church. Hoane was also vice president and committee chair of the Delta Kappa Gamma Honorary Teachers group and received a nomination for the Small Business Awards in 2007.
Heading the professional division is Joe Klein. Klein is Findlay Country Club’s director of hospitality and clubhouse operations. He also was a member of the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce ambassador’s council and was on Owens Community College’s Culinary Program advisory board.
Former county commissioner Ed Ingold leads the public division. He serves as the current president of the Hancock County Health board, is an Associated Charities board member, a Boy Scouts of America Black Swamp Area Council board member and a Hancock-Wood Electric board member. He was recently certified as an Ohio Volunteer Naturalist through the OSU extension office, teaching bird identification and natural science classes.
David Cassidy will co-chair the independent division. Cassidy has been a United Way campaign volunteer since 1990. He also served on the volunteer leadership council of the American Cancer Society and was a member of the Knights of Columbus as a past grand knight. He is retired from Chrysler. Cassidy was selected to receive United Way’s Jeri Bjorling Memorial Distinguished Volunteer Award in 2012.
Bob Hauzie will be co-chairing the independent division. Hauzie is a licensed nursing home administrator in Ohio and recently retired from St. Francis Senior Ministries Inc., Tiffin. In addition to working for St. Francis, Hauzie has been a volunteer in several nonprofit activities. He volunteered for Seneca County United Way as the general campaign chair, division chair for the manufacturing sector and a board member. He also served as a member of the Seneca County/Tiffin Red Cross board. He served several years on the board of Open Arms Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services. He was a session presenter for the Hancock Leadership Program for several years and served on the advisory board for health care at the University of Findlay.
Mitch Welty is leading the rural division for a second year. He is the Legacy Farmers Cooperative division grain manager. He serves on the Findlay-Hancock County Chamber advisory board, is a 4-H volunteer club leader and serves on the Southeast Grain and Feed Association board. He also serves on the National Grain and Feed country elevator committee. In addition, he is a member of the United Way’s Halt Hunger Initiative.
Funds raised each year by the campaign cabinet team are used for grants to local nonprofit agencies that provide services to those in need in Hancock County. Funds are also used to support United Way’s Halt Hunger Initiative and other programs that improve people’s lives. Local companies are holding in-house campaigns to support the community through United Way of Hancock County. Local businesses or corporations interested in holding a fundraising campaign should contact Michael Momany, resource development director, at Momany@uwhancock.org or at the United Way office, 419-423-1432.