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2016 United Way Campaign Raises $ 3.27 Million

     Campaign co-chairs Chris and Dina Ostrander announced Friday that the community has raised $3,266,855, with several pledges still expected. The announcement was made during United Way’s final celebrity server event of the week at The Gathering Wine. The goal this year, as in past years, was to exceed the previous year. Last year, United Way’s efforts resulted in raising $3,201,232.
    “Chris and I would like to thank the entire community for delivering record results in this year’s campaign,” said Dina Ostrander.  “Through the hard work of the United Way staff and the volunteer cabinet members, and the altruistic nature of the business community and its employees, we all have helped United Way of Hancock County further its mission to measurably improve the lives of its citizens.”

    “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed experiencing first-hand how generous of a community we live in here in Hancock County,” said Chris Ostrander.  “Not only did we see continued growth in giving from the companies and employees that have supported United Way for many years, but we were also successful in bringing on 18 new companies that are now enabling their employees to participate in giving back to their community.  It’s these efforts that will continue to differentiate our community from others.”

    John Urbanski, president and CEO of United Way of Hancock County, said, “Chris and Dina Ostrander have been incredible co-chairs this year. Their passion for our community exhibited itself right from the start as they put together their campaign cabinet and tirelessly reached out to the community. They lead by example which is demonstrated by another record-breaking year. We are extremely grateful for the generous ongoing support of our many corporations and individuals. We are also especially pleased and excited that 18 new companies have made a commitment to Findlay and Hancock County by participating in this year’s campaign.”

    Urbanski praised the Ostranders for their work and that of their cabinet. He also announced that the Ostranders have agreed to serve a second time as co-chairs and will lead the 2017 fundraising effort.

    “Dina and I are honored to lead the United Way campaign for a second year,” said Chris.  “The learning curve in running a campaign for the first time is steep.  We feel that by providing leadership continuity going into next year’s campaign will help us accelerate securing any ‘unfinished business’, while allowing us to further develop and fine-tune the process to make it much easier to transition new leadership going forward.”

The fundraising results are as follows:
The commercial division, chaired by Michael Needler Jr., raised $83,767. This division includes car dealerships, contractors, grocery stores and more.
The corporate division, chaired by Don Templin, raised $2,639,806. This division includes all major corporations in Hancock County.
The education division, chaired by Marcia Latta, raised $59,401. The division includes city schools, county schools, private schools and higher education institutions.
The FIRE division, which includes financial institutions, insurance companies and real estate companies, raised $89,391. This division was chaired by Mary Beth Hammond.
The health division, chaired by Chris Webb, raised $110,205. The health division includes doctors, dentists, Blanchard Valley Health System, and health services companies like long-term care facilities.
The mercantile division, chaired by Andrea Kramer, raised $54,914. This division includes small storefronts, restaurants and other small businesses in the county.
The professional division, chaired by Jamie Stall, raised $35,252. The professional division includes attorneys, accountants, ministers, veterinarians and more.
The public division includes nonprofit organizations, city and county employees. This division raised $55,506 and was chaired by Paul Schmelzer.
The independent division, chaired by David Cassidy, includes retirees and individuals who work from their home or are independent companies. The division raised $126,591.
The rural division, including small businesses outside of Findlay, raised $12,022. The division was chaired by Vaun Wickerham.
This year’s Gaslight Society membership co-chairs were Kerry Kirk and Christian Pedersen. Gaslight Society members are donors who give at a level of $750 or above annually.

    The funds will be distributed to approved programs and services through grant requests that are reviewed by local citizens who serve on the volunteer impact teams during the 2017 grant cycle. Agencies that are eligible to apply for funding include: American Red Cross-Hancock County Chapter, Boy Scouts of America-Black Swamp Area Council, CASA/GAL of Hancock County, Camp Fire of Northwest Ohio, Center for Safe and Healthy Children, Challenged Champions Equestrian Center, Century Health, Cancer Patient Services, Children's Mentoring Connection, Dental Center of Northwest Ohio, Family Resource Center, Findlay Family YMCA, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, Hancock County Saves, HHWP Community Action Commission, Findlay Hope House for the Homeless, Kidney Foundation of Northwest Ohio, Open Arms Domestic Violence & Rape Crisis Services and Salvation Army. Funds are also used for United Way operations and community initiatives such as the Halt Hunger Initiative, the Findlay City Schools and Hancock County pre-kindergarten scholarship program and Raise the Bar Hancock County. For more information or to serve on an impact team, which approves grants to qualifying organizations, contact the United Way office at 419-423-1432.