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Plaques, statues and turkey sandwiches were used to thank volunteers and donors Tuesday during the United Way of Central Kentucky’s annual event recognizing some community members who have dedicated large amounts of time, energy and resources toward the organization and its causes.
Executive Director Christopher Wilborn said the event spotlights some of the people who make the United Way’s mission possible.
“Our donors, our volunteers, our advocates are the lifeblood of our nonprofit organization,” he said.
The luncheon at the Pritchard Center in Elizabethtown also highlighted the organization’s 2012 performance and total donations for the year of more than $1.1 million.
Last year, nearly 80,000 people in the organization’s five-county region were helped in at least one of the three areas the United Way focuses on: health, education and income, Wilborn said.
That work was made possible by donors and volunteers, and it’s important to show them that their help is valued and makes a difference, he said.
“I hope that each person there left knowing that their investment of time, talent or treasure was well utilized and truly moves our community in a positive direction,” he said.
Hardin County residents benefited from United Way investment in groups and programs such as CASA of the Heartland, which received $25,000; Central Kentucky Community Action, which was given $80,000; and SpringHaven Domestic Violence Program, which got $60,000.
The United Way did away in 2012 with setting a monetary goal during its primary fundraising effort, which ran from September to February. Organizers wanted the organization to be held to a higher standard and strive to consistently increase the amount of money raised to help people in the community, Wilborn said.
Donation increases and increased participation rates in area businesses showed local residents shared that vision, he said.
The two most prominent awards given during the ceremony were the Live United Award to Hardin County resident Stephanie Hester and the Nelson Kelley Volunteer of the Year Award given to LaRue County resident Darin Williams.
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.