2022 Campaign Kickoff
United Way of Central Florida announced on Thursday its highest fundraising goal for the organization to date in front of a crowd of donors, volunteers and community members at LEGOLAND Florida Resort.
Campaign Chair Melony Bell, along with Resource Development chair Nick Plott, announced that the total fundraising goal for 2022-2023 is $10,657,000.
“If we all just give 10% more of ourselves; time, talent or treasure; this will demonstrate the power that we can have in our community,” Bell said. “Together, we can make a difference for our neighbors.”
To help achieve this goal, companies and organizations choose to run their campaign early to help kickoff the year. These companies are called “Pacesetters” and this year, raised more than $400,000.
“United Way doesn’t give a handout, it gives a hand-UP and empowers individuals to make a better life for themselves and their families,” said Ashley Bell Barnett, UWCF Board Chair. “But none of this work would be possible without our generous donors.”
The 2022-2023 Pacesetter companies are: Achievement Academy, Alliance for Independence, Bank of Central Florida, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, Big Brothers Big Sisters Suncoast/Highlands Co., Boys and Girls Club of Polk County, Representative Colleen Burton, Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Central Florida Speech and Hearing, Champion for Children Foundation, Church Service Center, City of Auburndale, Early Learning Coalition of Polk County, EMERGE Lakeland, The Florida Children’s Museum, Firehouse Subs of Auburndale, First Southern Bank, Lu and John Fitzwater, Frostproof Care Center, Githens Insurance & Financial Services, Hadley’s Early Education, Heartland National Bank, Henkelman Construction, Johnson Stivender Wealth Advisors, Kindelan McDanal & Associates, Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce, Learning Resource Center, Lighthouse for the Blind and Low Vision, Nancy Tanner, Peace River Center, Polk Vision, Ridge Area Arc, Stuarts Plumbing, Studio C Solutions, Talbot House Ministries, The Salvation Army Serving West Polk, True North Farms, United Way of Central Florida, Valley Bank, VISTE, Wells Fargo – Highlands County, Wells Fargo – Polk County, YMCA of West Central Florida
Barnett also thanked the organization’s top supporters, including Publix Super Markets, Inc. and Publix Super Markets Charities, the top donor to United Way Worldwide for the third consecutive year.
“This year, we look forward with anticipation and excitement, as we watch goals and dreams materialize,” she said. “Our new Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center at Bonnet Springs Park opens this November. We continue to make a difference through our 21 End Hunger sites, offering healthy food items and providing resources to fill other needs. Our leadership affinity groups have exciting events planned, such as our Celebration of Women Tribute Book release party this fall, Young Leaders Aprons Dinner in December and Bayou Bash in February.”
View our gallery of photos from the event: