United Way celebrates successful campaign
Thursday, April 17, 2014 8:57 AM
Raising more than $200,000 in its 2013 annual campaign, United Way of Jay County celebrated its volunteers and contributors Wednesday night.
Recipient of the Greg and Marianne Moser Volunteer of the Year Award, Beverly Bennett poses with her award after the United Way of Jay County’s annual meeting Wednesday at the John Jay Center for Learning. (The Commercial Review/Kelly Lynch)
The organization handed out awards to schools, businesses and individuals that made an impact on its fundraising over the past year at its annual meeting at John Jay Center.
One of the surprises of the night came when Wes Schemenaur introduced an award he would eventually win.
Introducing the Lee G. Hall award as one given to “someone who exemplifies the philanthropic spirit of Mr. Hall,” who was a businessman in Portland associated with Portland Forge, Schemenaur handed the microphone over to Executive Director Jane Ann Runyon who didn’t let him get too far.
“And I’m glad you said all that because the award this year goes to Mr. Schemenaur,” said Runyon, which was met with laughter from those in attendance and a look of surprise from Schemenaur.
“I’ve given the award out a lot of times over the years. I never expected to ever receive it,” said Schemenaur.
Runyon cited his work with the United Way as well as other organizations and added that Schemenaur is deserving because he’s done “a lot for the community, and we appreciate it.”
Another award given to an individual for work in the community on a volunteer basis, the Greg and Marianne Moser Volunteer of the Year Award, went to a woman close to the United Way and someone who worked directly with Runyon.
Beverly Bennett, a volunteer who has played right hand to Runyon over the past three years, received the award after spending countless hours in the office assisting with whatever needed to be done.
“This lady can stuff envelopes faster than anyone I know,” joked Runyon.
One of the highlights of the night was the presentation of Youth United Awards to local schools that contributed to the annual campaign. Raising $9,530, each school was given a certificate for its commitment to fundraising.
“Our school kids who run these campaigns do a fantastic job every year,” said Schemenaur. “The enthusiasm that these young people show about raising money for these projects is just really impressive.”
Westlawn Elementary was highlighted for being the school with the largest amount raised per student at $5.86.
“It’s amazing what these school kids do,” said Runyon. “We’re very thankful … without these kids, I’m not sure what we’d do.”