United Way of Hendry & Glades raises $334,944

(Submitted photo) Swing Into Spring Volunteers.

LABELLE – Swing Into Spring was an evening of fun and celebration for the United Way of Hendry and Glades. The big announcement that the 2018-2019 United Way Campaign had made goal, raising $334,944, was made by Sally Berg, Swing Into Spring Chair, and Cliff Smith, President of the United Way.

Sally Berg said, “United Way Campaign Chairs Mali Gardner and Carey Soud worked hard to move the thermometer to the top! A huge thank you to everyone who gave to the Campaign! To all of the volunteers and sponsors who made tonight’s event possible, another big thank you!”

Swing Into Spring is the signature fundraising event for United Way of Hendry and Glades, and was sold out. The dinner featured a large silent auction, live auction and other games. LaBelle High School musicians showcased jazz tunes, and Lee Conwell sang song favorites. The event was sponsored at the Platinum level by Verandah; Gold level by First Bank and Camp Kindness; Silver level by Lehigh Community Services, Stanley and Pat Heath, and CenterState Bank; at the Bronze level by the Area Agency on Aging, Sue & Tim Stanley, Hope HealthCare, U.S. Sugar, McDonalds, GA Foods, Johnson-Prewitt & Associates, White’s Furniture & Appliances, and Lyons Printing.

Paul Puletti, Hendry County School Superintendent, was the Master of Ceremonies, and LaBelle Mayor David Lyons gave the Invocation. Dr. Joe Pepe, of the Department of Health, was the auctioneer for the Live Auction and game master of the Heads Tails Game. 61 items were donated by members of the community and by business to the auctions.

Lisa Sands, United Way of Hendry and Glades Manager said, “I want to thank our Master of Ceremonies Paul Puletti, Auctioneer Dr. Joe Pepe, RiverBend Motorcoach Resort, Sprout Catering, and Keepsake Plants for helping make the event so successful. Special thanks to our sponsors, and the Volunteer Committee members who spent months preparing for the event including Committee Chair Sally Berg, and committee members Kristina Rodriguez, Mary Bartoshuk, Diane Johnson, Edwin Melendez, Terri Lazar, Kelly McWhorter, and Maricela Morado.”

“All money raised in the campaign funds the 28 United Way Partner Agencies and 64 programs that provide direct client services in Hendry and Glades counties,” said Cliff Smith, President of the United Way. “This is a wonderful community, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity. Your gifts stay in this community making a real impact and changing people’s lives for the better.”

In the past year, over 29,500 people visited the Hendry and Glades United Way Houses in LaBelle, Clewiston, and Moore Haven. United Way 211 had over 3,800 calls by Hendry and Glades residents seeking assistance.

Some of the agencies that will receive funds from the 2018-2019 United Way of Hendry, and Glades Campaign include: Abuse Counseling and Treatment (ACT), The Salvation Army, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Children’s Advocacy Center, Hope HealthCare Services, Child Care of Southwest Florida, Healthy Families, and many others.

In addition to raising funds for human service organizations, the United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies, helping them to work together focusing on issues and solutions that continue to improve lives.

If you know someone who needs help or if you would like to volunteer, please call United Way at (800) 887-9234 or simply dial 2-1-1. You can also visit www.UnitedWayLee.org for more information.

(Submitted photo) Dr. Joe Pepe auctioning a Cannoli Cake from Two Peas Café which is being held by Lisa Sands.

The Caloosa Belle is published every Thursday.

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