United Way of Hendy and Glades raises $322,400

The 2017-2018 Campaign for the United Way of Hendry & Glades raised a total of $322,430 for its 27 United Way Partner Agencies. The announcement was made by the United Way Campaign Chairs Tommy Perry and Carey Soud at the “Swing Into Spring” event at RiverBend Motorcoach Resort.

Paul Puletti, Master of Ceremonies for Swing Into Spring. (Submitted photo)

Tommy Perry said as he unveiled the campaign thermometer, “I am extremely pleased to tell you we have made our campaign goal. Our community can be proud that it recognizes and supports the organizations that help our neighbors in need have a better life. Considering Hurricane Irma and the need in our community, reaching goal was critical so that we can fully fund the entire network of United Way Partner Agencies and programs that help thousands of people in our community.”

Nearly 200 people attended the dinner which also featured music by Caloosahatchet and Lee Conwell, a large silent auction, live auction and other games. Swing Into Spring is the signature fundraising event for United Way of Hendry and Glades. It was sponsored at the Platinum level by Verandah; Gold level by Pat and Stanley Heath, Child Care of Southwest Florida, and Kiwanis Club of LaBelle; Silver level by White’s Furniture and Appliances, and CenterState Bank; at the Bronze level by Johnson-Prewitt & Associates, Sue and Tim Stanley, McDonald’s, Lyons Printing, K&M Drugs, U.S. Sugar, and First Bank. A photo booth for all of the attendees to have their pictures taken was sponsored by Direct Industrial Products. The Heads-Tails game was sponsored by Muddy Water Entertainment.
Master of Ceremonies was Paul Puletti, Hendry County School Superintendent, and LaBelle Mayor David Lyons gave the Invocation. Dr. Joe Pepe, of the Department of Health, was the Auctioneer for the Live Auction. 65 items were donated by businesses and members of the community to the auctions.

Lisa Sands, United Way of Hendry and Glades Manager said, “I want to thank RiverBend Motorcoach Resort, Lee Conwell, Caloosahatchet, Sprout Catering, our MC Paul Puletti, Auctioneer Dr. Joe Pepe, and Keepsake Plants for helping make the event so successful. Special thanks to our sponsors, and the Volunteer Committee consisting of Committee Chair Sally Berg, Vanessa Fischel, Karan Roach, Mary Bartoshuk, Kristina Rodriguez, Terri Lazar and Diane Johnson who dedicated several months of preparation for the event.”

All money raised is used to fund the 27 United Way Partner Agencies and 65 programs that provide direct client services in Hendry and Glades counties. Cliff Smith, President of the United Way commented, “This is a wonderful community, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity. Every gift has made a difference because when added together, they make a real impact and change people’s lives for the better.”

This past year, over 29,500 people visited the Hendry and Glades United Way Houses in LaBelle, Clewiston, and Moore Haven. United Way 211 handled over 1,300 calls by Hendry and Glades residents seeking assistance. In September, United Way 211 became the Storm Information Hotline during Hurricane Irma, and took more than 40,000 calls from people in Southwest Florida.

Some of the agencies that will receive funds from the 2017-2018 United Way of Hendry, and Glades Campaign include: Abuse Counseling and Treatment (ACT), The Salvation Army, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Children’s Advocacy Center, 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.

The Caloosa Belle is published every Thursday.

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