Steady giving has United Way near campaign goal

PLYMOUTH — Slow but sure wins the race, but that doesn’t make it any easier to wait.
“It’s really kind of a strange thing this year but for whatever reason many of the campaigns are running late this year,” said Jennifer Maddox, Executive Director of United Way of Marshall County. “I’m optimistic that we’re going to reach our goal but we won’t have final numbers for awhile yet because so many businesses haven’t completed their drives.”
One local company has been “in the clubhouse” on their drive for quite awhile. Not only was it a quick one, it was a big success.
“The gold standard on running a campaign has to be Oliver Ford,” said Maddox. “Not only did they have it done in one day, they also had 100 percent participation. People should call Jen Houin and find out what she does and do it the same way.”
Slow may be the case, but the speed isn’t caused by lack of enthusiasm. Maddox says that giving is ahead of last year’s pace and several companies in the county have had truly miraculous numbers.
“Pregis is 65% ahead of last year’s giving and that is amazing,” said Maddox. “I feel as if that success is a direct correlation to the leadership of that campaign. Dennis Hughes and Don Ecker have led by example there and their employees have responded.”
For the first time in many years Valmont had a campaign for United Way giving that was a successful one.
“That’s the first campaign they’ve had since the business was sold several years ago and they did a marvelous job,” said Maddox. “I think it’s a great example of an employer responding to their community. Sometimes a business is sold to ownership outside of the county and they don’t really understand United Way, or how it works or its importance in this community. They found that out and re-opened the doors for us.”
With brisk giving, the campaign is at 80 percent of its goal of $450,000 by Maddox’ estimate, and ahead of last year’s giving.
“People seem to feel more secure this year,” she said. “Really nearly everybody has been touched by the economy in some way. If not them, a family member or a co-worker have had struggles. With that security comes a desire to help and they see that United Way touches everybody as well.”
All who have donated are invited to United Way’s “Thank You” event Feb. 3 at Christos Banquet Center in Plymouth beginning at 5:30 p.m. There will be a silent auction that will provide the final fund boost for this year’s campaign.
Those who still desire to give to United Way may do so. Dec. 31 is the final day to give for the tax incentive for this year. Donations must be postmarked by then or be taken to the United Way office by Dec. 29 at 4:30 p.m.
For more information visit the United Way website at