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United Way chapter raises record amount

By Staff | Mar 22, 2016

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee has concluded the 2015-2016 Campaign and exceeded the campaign goal of $9,385,330.

David Fry, 2015-2016 United Way Campaign chair, and managing partner of Vantage Construction Services and owner of Dwell Florida, announced that local residents and companies contributed a record amount, $9,420,338 to the campaign which is a 4.2 percent increase over the amount raised last year.

UNited Way provided the following statement from Fry:

“Not only has our United Way made goal, we have exceeded the campaign goal for the23rd consecutive year by raising over $9.4 million,” Fry said at the goal announcement. “Our wonderful, generous community has done it again!

“To all of you who gave, I send my most sincere thanks. I am so proud to call Lee County home, where people really care about each other.

“Because of your generosity, hungry families will receive food, veterans will find support when they return home, abused children and adults can find safety and shelter, older persons can remain in their own homes, and babies and toddlers can get a healthy start in life. You gave so others could have a better life.

“Making our campaign goal means that the 85 United Way Partner Agencies and over 200 programs that United Way supports will receive their full allocation of funding. Exceeding goal, means that United Way Partner Agencies and programs will be able to better serve more people in need in our community.

“All money raised by our United Way stays here in our community, and our United Way keeps administrative and fundraising cost extremely low, returning over 90% of what is raised to the local agencies and programs. Our United Way is a Four-Star Charity, the highest rating available, on Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator is the largest and most utilized charity evaluator in America.”

“Again, a sincere thank you to all of the individuals, companies, communities, and partner agencies for your generous contributions. You proved again what an enormously caring community this is,” Fry said.

The top local contributing companies and the top communities are as follows:

Top United Way Company Contributors

1. Publix Super Markets, $1,726,249

2. Bonita Bay Group, $450,176

3. Chico’s FAS, $432,000

4. LCEC, $212,396

5. ENTERPRISE HOLDINGS, $184,177

6. Lee County School District, $180,000

7. Lee Memorial Health System, $146,564

8. FineMark National Bank & Trust, $122,644

9. Turbine Generator Maintenance, $122,036

10. BB&T Oswald Trippe & Company, $104,038

Top United Way Community Contributors

Bonita Bay, $783,960

Sanibel Captiva $370,628

Brooks, $251,353

Pelican Landing, $229,531

Mediterra, $224,689

Fiddlesticks, $205,082

“Funding from United Way is so important to our agency,” said Jennifer Benton, chief executive officer of Abuse Counseling and Treatment, in the statement. “We served, last year, over 5,600 victims of domestic violence and survivors of sexual assault and human trafficking. Over 650 victims and their children stayed in our shelters. We could not do all that we do without our United Way.”

“Surpassing this campaign goal and raising over $9.4 million shows how much people in our community really care about each other. That is why our community is such a special place,” said Cliff Smith, president of United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee.

All money raised in the United Way Campaign stays in the local community to help support the local human service network. United Way partner agencies and initiatives like Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center, Child Care of Southwest Florida, Children’s Advocacy Center, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Partners for Breast Cancer Care, LARC, and United Way 211 serve a diverse range of needs in our community such as nurturing children and youth, strengthening families, and meeting critical needs such as helping the elderly and disabled live independently, and empowering communities by bringing health and human services to neighborhoods.

In addition to raising funds for human service organizations in our community, the United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies and initiatives, helping them to work together focusing on issues and solutions that continue to improve lives.

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has raised and distributed over $147 million since it was established in 1957. For more information please call United Way visit www.UnitedWayLee.org.

Source: United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee