United Way of La Porte County Campaign Kickoff Shows Promise

Seeing something that is meant for good prosper and progress tugs at the heart in a special way, and knowing that this good thing's prosperity and progress will touch and settle on others makes the tug stronger. The promise of hope and good things to come was the message sent out at the United Way of La Porte County 2012 Kickoff Campaign. It took place on Wednesday August 29, 2012 at the Blue Chip Casino's Stardust Event Center in Michigan City.

Dr. Glade Montgomery, Superintendent of La Porte Community School Corporation and member of the Board of Directors for United Way of La Porte County, was in attendance at the event.

"It's an opportunity for us to invite a lot of the people who are donors to United Way here and offer them breakfast, kick off our campaign, and thank them for their support," Montgomery said. "We've been very fortunate that the Blue Chip Casino is a big supporter of United Way and they've helped our campaign a lot in the past. So we're very fortunate to have them host us this morning."

A scrumptious breakfast buffet was provided by Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa for the guests dining pleasure. While everyone filled their plates I asked Dr. Montgomery what he hoped to achieve during the campaign kickoff.

"As one of the co-chairs I'm going to give some inflections on the United Way and some of the areas that it helps in our community and hopefully make people aware of all of the different agencies that the United Way supports." Dr. Montgomery said.

"We always have a goal of helping as many people as we can who have a need." Andy Neal, Chairman of the Board of Directors for United Way of La Porte County said. "We support 22 agencies in La Porte County right now, and they come to us with their proposals for funding later on in the fall.  Our goal is to be able to support as many programs as we can that help people who have challenges with income, health or education. Those are our three main areas of focus."

After everyone was seated, presentations began. The volunteers who helped to organize and conduct the campaign were recognized, a raffle for a restored late 1960s Mustang was announced (The muscle car was restored by students from Michigan City High School), and the campaign goal of $1,002,012.00 was revealed. Why the specific number, you ask? Take a closer look at the sum. Notice any familiar numbers in it like…2012? Yes, folks, this year is what makes the goal special and unique. That's pretty neat, huh? What else is significant about this campaign?

"It gives us an official starting point," Neal said. "It also lets some of the leaders of the companies and organizations around the county know that they should be expecting to hear from us, from our loan executives, to set up a meeting because our loan executives coordinate with their human resource departments and we conduct these on-site meetings where we show our campaign video, we present the results from the prior year -the types of people who were helped, how many people who were helped throughout the county- and that allows us to sign up their employees through payroll deduction. That's over 70% of our campaign."

What made this event extra special was the premier of the new United Way Campaign Video which was generously created and donated by Wade Breitzke and his team at 27 Entertainment. 27 Entertainment is in the business of film, entertainment and events. Located in downtown Valparaiso. 27 Entertainment was the perfect choice of who should take on such a task.

"We had the awesome opportunity to provide the campaign video for United Way of La Porte County," Breitzke said with a smile. "It took me and my staff a couple weeks to put it together. We were able to script out and write something that we feel really represented the United Way in a really positive light. We also have a huge focus on community because we feel like United Way wouldn't be here without the community."

How did this opportunity come about?

"Chris [Mahlmann] from LaPorteCountyLife introduced me to Dave [Sisk]," Breitzke explained. "I quickly found out that this is an amazing cause and their doing some really cool things here in La Porte County."

There are indeed some really cool things happening in La Porte County. Be forewarned- This is only the beginning!

Don't miss the opportunity to show your support for the United Way of La Porte County at their upcoming event: A Night in Old Chicago held at Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa on November 9, 2012!

Find out more about United Way of La Porte County by clicking here! and check out their Facebook page by clicking here!

To find out more about 27 Entertainment click here! Click here to find them and "Like" them on Facebook.

Want to know more about Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa? Click here!

Check out the Facebook page by clicking here! 

Click here to see the complete photo gallery!!

United Way of LaPorte County Campaign Video from 27 Entertainment on Vimeo.

Cornerstone Companies: Sulliar Corporation -Henry Brooks, President; Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa -Ted Bogich, General Manager; IU Health La Porte Hospital -Thor Thordarson, President and CEO; Fiber Bond -Dan Dobbins, President; Horizon Bank -Craig Dwight, CEO; Michigan City Area Schools -Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, Superintendent; Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad -Andrew Fox, President;  Lakeshore Foods Corporation -Gil Pontius, President; Franciscan St. Anthony Health - Michigan City -Dr. James Callaghan, President; GAF Materials -Denby Snell, President; Filter Specialists -Bernie Faulkner, CEO; La Porte Savings Bank -Michele Thompson, CEO; NIPSCO -Angela Nelson, Public Affairs Manager; New York Blower -Robert Korfmann, CEO; Purdue University North Central -Dr. Jim Dworkin, Chancellor; ITW Redhead -Brian Michon, Plant Manager;  United Parcel Service -Jed Runnells, CEO; PNC Bank -Jeff Smith, Regional Manager.

2012 Cabinet Members: Fred McNulty -Campaign Advisor, Dr. Amarnath Agrawal -Medical, Henry Brooks -Industry, Dr. Jim Dworkin -Leadership Givers, Jim Stemmler -Labor, Gil Pontius -Commercial Business, Alexis Pontius -Commercial Business, Charlie Roberts -Professionals, Ted Bogich -Professionals, Fred Miller -Retirees, Norm Steider -Foundations, Andy Neal -Financial Services, Kim Sauers -Sales, Bill Hackney -Media and Communications, Mayor Blair Milo -Community, Mayor Ron Meer -Community, Mike Horton -Community.

Loaned Executives: Sandy Alexander -Michiana Resources, Thalia Baker -La Porte County Meals on Wheels, Steve Bernth -Youth Services Bureau, Dava Buell -Horzon Bank, Deb Chubb - Imagination Station, Liz Depew -Purdue University North Central, Jack Elia -Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa, Ben Fout La Porte Family YMCA, Kendra Gardin - Purdue North Central, Mary Hedge -READ La Porte County, Herb Higgin - Safe Harbor, Pam Higley -Dunebrook, Mike Horton -Retiree Michiana Resources, Gerry Jones - Stepping Stone Shelter for Women, Mike Luther -Retiree La Porte Community Schools, Gail Mathews - Franciscan St. Anthony Health - WorkingWell, Kathy Mosley -Franciscan St. Anthony Health - Michigan City, Andy Neal -G.E. Capital, Charlie Roberts -Horizon Bank, Mark IU Health Occupational Services, Ellen Sharpe -Franciscan St. Anthony Health - Michigan City, Sherri Silcox -Safe Harbor, Rich Stalbrink, Sr. -Retiree La Porte Community Schools, Kregg Van Meter -New Prairie Community Schools.