Darke County United Way 70th Campaign Kickoff Luncheon


GREENVILLE — The Darke County United Way, Inc., has been helping the community through its actions and continued community support for 70 years.

The Darke County United Way celebrated its 70th annual Campaign Kick-Off Luncheon in Greenville, Wednesday, presented by KitchenAid and Whirlpool Corp. According to its website, the purpose of the Darke County United Way is to increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another through five core principles: assessing and addressing health and human service needs in the community; fostering cooperation among health and human service organizations in the county; developing and allocating human and financial resources; promoting Darke County United Way and its affiliates and managing Darke County United Way efficiently and effectively.

Those that rely on that help in the community are 24 organizations and 26 programs, according to Darke County United Way Campaign Chair Jim Atchley. All funds raised remain in Darke County, he said. Darke County United Way President Matt Jordan said last year was a banner year for fundraising.

“The final number for last year was $495,194.77, with a goal of $425,000,” Jordan said. “It was possible because of all of you. The need for the coming year is just as great as the past year.”

“We don’t hand money out lightly,” Darke County United Way Executive Director Christy Baker added. “There is a lot of accountability that goes into those dollars. A lot has changed in 70 years, but many things remain the same. There are still individuals in our community who have nowhere to sleep tonight, whose cupboards are empty, with children struggling to read, write and do basic math. There are still individuals in our community fighting addiction every single day. We have come so far, yet we have so far yet to go. These agencies are on the front lines fighting our biggest issues everyday, to make Darke County a great place to live and work. United Way agencies have served nearly 20,000 residents every quarter last year. That equated to almost 60,000 unique interactions with individuals in our community. That cost to those agencies was $865,650.70. So $500,000 is great, but we have work still to do. We want to change the story for thousands of Darke countians this year, and we can only do that through your help.”

After the luncheon, Ramco Electric Motors donated $10,000. Human Resources Manager of Ramco Jase Barhorst said the company’s involvement with United Way is about improving its business strategy, moving forward and growing its people.

“It gives back to the community and really develops our future, as Ramco is a community member,” Barhorst said. “We need great community members and this is a great supportive effort of that.”

Others in in attendance included supporters and partners of the charity, community members and local officials. Darke County YMCA has been a partner with Darke County United Way, according to Executive Director and CEO Sam Casalano.

“We partner with the United Way in a few ways,” he said. “We have a special meeting with the staff and I encourage them to do their best to make a gift to the United Way, as the money benefits all of the community partners. When we receive United Way funds, normally we apply it to off-set the cost of childcare or membership for those who cannot afford it.”

While the Darke County United Way Board of Directors recognized new members, those leaving included seven-year Darke County United Way Board member Mitch Eiting and 28-year board member Dave Keiser.

“It was a great pleasure and probably more of a benefit to me than it was to the board members and directors I served with,” Keiser said. “The board has evolved so much over the years. It has truly had a lot of trials too. Thanks to all of the agencies, individuals and corporates that give. Because you are very generous with your time and your finances, I thank all of you.”

For information, visit www.darkecountyunitedway.org, call 937-547-1272 or email unitedway@darkecountyunitedway.org.

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The Darke County United Way celebrated its 70th annual Campaign Kick-Off Luncheon Wednesday. From left to right: Darke County United Way Executive Director Christy Baker, Ramco Electric Motors Human Resources Manager Jase Barhorst, Darke County United Way Campaign Chair Jim Atchley and Owner of Ramco Electric Motors Dave Dunaway. Ramco donated $10,000 to the United Way. “It gives back to the community and really develops our future, as Ramco is a community member,” Barhorst said. “We need great community members and this is a great supportive effort of that.”
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/09/web1_unitedway1.jpgThe Darke County United Way celebrated its 70th annual Campaign Kick-Off Luncheon Wednesday. From left to right: Darke County United Way Executive Director Christy Baker, Ramco Electric Motors Human Resources Manager Jase Barhorst, Darke County United Way Campaign Chair Jim Atchley and Owner of Ramco Electric Motors Dave Dunaway. Ramco donated $10,000 to the United Way. “It gives back to the community and really develops our future, as Ramco is a community member,” Barhorst said. “We need great community members and this is a great supportive effort of that.” Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

From left to right: Retiring 28-year Darke County United Way Board member Dave Keiser, Darke County United Way Executive Director Christy Baker and retiring seven-year Darke County United Way Board member Mitch Eiting.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/09/web1_unitedway2.jpgFrom left to right: Retiring 28-year Darke County United Way Board member Dave Keiser, Darke County United Way Executive Director Christy Baker and retiring seven-year Darke County United Way Board member Mitch Eiting. Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

By Carolyn Harmon

charmon@dailyadvocate.com

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.