United Way of Central Florida Announces 2019 Current Year Support Total and Annual Award Winners
United Way of Central Florida is excited to announce the current year support total for the 2019-2020 fundraising year as well as the annual awards for Philanthropist of the year, George W. Jenkins Volunteer of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Spirit of Central Florida Award and Employee Coordinator of the Year.
These announcements were made during UWCF’s Spirit Week. Spirit week consisted of daily videos on the UWCF Facebook page at 9 a.m. from June 8 to June 12.
The total amount raised to date is $10,443.369 with a projected total amount raised of over $11,218,809. $1,343,143 of our current year support total came in specifically for disaster relief.
Spirit of Central Florida Award
The Spirit of Central Florida award acknowledges a company or organization that has surpassed all expectations and exemplifies the giving spirit of this community.
Not only does GiveWell Community Foundation bring together philanthropists to generate positive change in our community, they have worked to make sure Central Florida organizations are able to make it through this COVID-19 Pandemic.
To aid community organizations facing an unprecedented demand on resources, The Foundation partnered with UWCF to create the United Community Relief Fund. That fund has collected $310,000 for local nonprofits to provide relief throughout Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties.
Citizen of the Year
The Citizen of the Year award goes to a citizen in the community that has gone above and beyond.
Angel Davis has not only given her time on the Young Leaders Society Committee, Campaign Cabinet and Community Investment Team, she can often be found at one of UWCF’s hands-on volunteer opportunities throughout the year. An employee of the City of Lakeland, Angel is involved in many other civic organizations like Junior League and the Bonnett Spring planning committee.
Angel spreads the message of United Way throughout the community and is willing to share her own personal testimony when asked.
Philanthropist of the Year
The Philanthropist of the Year award was created to thank the winner for a lifetime commitment to Philanthropy to United Way and our community. This year, the award goes to the George Jenkins Foundation. It has a long history of stepping up for the communities that United Way of Central Florida serves, and it has done so again in a most important way.
In March, United Way of Central Florida kicked off our new Polk County George W. Jenkins End Hunger Initiative mobile food pantries. The food pantry distribution program consists of 17 distribution site across Polk County that each provide 200-400 individuals each with two weeks’ worth of fresh produce, meat and dry goods.
Thanks to a $253,000 donation from the George Jenkins Foundation and associated entities, what started as a twice a month mobile food pantry in Mulberry has become Polk County’s largest coordinated effort to reduce food insecurity.
The George Jenkins Foundation also recently invested an additional $390,000 in our community to provide childcare to first responders, frontline medical staff and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and also purchased additional supplemental protein resources for our food pantries.
George W. Jenkins Volunteer of the Year
The George W. Jenkins Volunteer of the Year award goes to a United Way of Central Florida board member or former board member whose volunteer experience is in a variety of leadership roles and assignments.
Kim Elmhorst has served our community for years in a variety of roles. She has served on the UWCF Board of Directors since 2015 and served as the 2015 Campaign Chair with the largest campaign at the time of over $9 million.
She has been a Reading Pal volunteer, member of the United Way Alexis de Tocqueville Society Committee. She is an active member of Women United and recently hosted the inaugural Books, Bracelets and Brunch event to raise money for Reading Pals.
Kim has also served on the boards of Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine, Lakeland Vision and GiveWell Community Foundation. She is a past president of the Junior League of Greater Lakeland and is Chair of the Friends of Bonnett Springs Park Committee.
Campaign Coordinator of the Year
The Employee Coordinator of the Year is chosen based not only on their enthusiasm and passion about United Way of Central Florida, but because they have coordinated some of the best events in the workplace campaign.
Doug McPherson of Citizens Bank & Trust stepped up to make sure all locations in his organization had an in person presentation, held a separate leadership giving meeting, coordinated an employee volunteer project and had 83% participation in his workplace with an average gift of $488. His company even had a total of 27 Leadership Donors this year.
- Small Business – Central Florida Regional Planning Council
- Medium Business – Highlands County Board of County Commissioners
- Large Business – City of Winter Haven
The 2019 Outstanding Employee Coordinator Awards go to:
- Outstanding Employee Coordinator for Small Business – Cindy Baxter, Hudson Pump
- Outstanding Employee Coordinator for Medium Business – Sarah Betzer, Bank of Central Florida
- Outstanding Employee Coordinator for Large Business – Clement Bottino, City of Lakeland
United Way of Central Florida Top 10 Supporters:
- Publix Super Markets, Inc. – $5,015,017
- GEICO – $826,936
- George Jenkins Foundation – $743,000
- United Community Relief Fund, within the GiveWell Foundation, $580,701
- The Mosaic Company – $431,011
- Watson Clinic, LLP – $156,530
- City of Lakeland – $156,530
- Polk County Public Schools – $92,692
- Iron House Family Foundation – $85,000
- City of Winter Haven – $79,339