United Way of La Porte County Recognizes Volunteers, Donors at Victory Celebration Breakfast

By: United Way of La Porte County Last Updated: March 31, 2012

It may have been early, but the crowd gathered for breakfast at the Stardust Event Center at Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa Thursday morning managed to muster up the energy to chant, “We are better together,” the slogan for the United Way of La Porte County’s 2011 fund-raising campaign.

The chanting marked the official unveiling of the organization’s campaign results – an impressive $1,010,700 – at the United Way of La Porte County’s 2012 Victory Celebration Breakfast.

“We could not have done this without our volunteers and the companies we work with,” said Dave Sisk, manager of community engagement for the United Way of La Porte County, who unveiled the symbolic check with Andy Neal, chairman of the organization’s board of directors.

Money raised during the campaign will help support 26 United Way member agencies that provide health and human services across La Porte County.

“It says the community is behind the concept of ‘better together,’” said Kris Pate, the newly-appointed executive director of the United Way of La Porte County. “It makes me think there is hope for the future.”

The breakfast served as a way to thank and recognize the volunteers, loaned executives, allocations team, and cornerstone companies that spent time and money on the 2011 campaign. Three individuals were singled out for particular recognition.

Mark Savage, director of Occupational Services at IU Health La Porte Hospital, received the Burton B. Ruby Award for his commitment to the principles of volunteerism and service above self. Savage served as a loaned executive and a chair of the allocations team for the 2011 campaign.

“To be on the same plaque as this person [United Way of La Porte County Board Chair Emeritus Burton B. Ruby] is incredible. It’s humbling and quite an honor,” Savage said.

Other award recipients included James Dworkin, chancellor of Purdue University North Central, and Christine Rosario of READ La Porte County. Rosario, a United Way of La Porte County volunteer, was awarded the John A. Garrettson Distinguished Service award in recognition of her continued service and interest in the United Way.

Dworkin received the state Castaldi Award for his help in bringing together the United Ways of Lake, Porter, and La Porte counties to form a Northwest Indiana Success By 6 program. Success by 6 is a national United Way program focused on improving school readiness through local community change.