Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

January 22, 2013

United Fund exceeds goal, recognizes contributors

Brent Brown

Greensburg — The Decatur County United Fund’s (DCUF) 56th annual meeting briefly kept guests in suspense Tuesday afternoon prior to the official unveiling of the non-profit’s 2012 campaign total at the Hampton Inn.

When the proverbial curtain was raised moments later by executive director Joane Cunningham, the number came as a pleasant surprise to those in attendance, many of whom were integral in getting the United Fund to its goal.

But the DCUF did more than reach its goal; in fact, it handily surpassed it.

The final campaign total for 2012 was $432,746, more than $100,000 more than the established goal of $330,000.

The grand unveiling drew applause on the “job well done,” though those associated with the DCUF — one of the best of its kind in the Hoosier State — are far from finished.

Outgoing President Andy Dudley recapped the year in a brief presentation.

The DCUF’s massively successful 2012 campaign was highlighted by June’s annual Strawberry Festival, which raised $5,684, and September’s Day of Caring, which assisted 14 different institutions throughout the county and community, Dudley noted.

November once again saw the biggest boost to the DCUF via its annual auction. The auction brought in almost $65,000 and included nearly 300 bidders vying for dozens of donated items.

Continuing to be “good stewards” of those earnings, the 2012 campaign saw the DCUF donate $25,000 in Special Grants delegated for various agencies assisted by the DCUF. Additionally, Dudley noted the United Fund added $5,000 in new curriculum to Carousel Play and Learn Center, gave another $5,000 for the addition of a literacy specialist at Decatur County Head Start, donated more than $12,000 for rent and utility assistance at Human Services, and added new equipment to the DCUF office to go alongside workshops and training services for members.

Calling its campaign “Building a Better Tomorrow,” the group took that mantra literally in September when various companies engaged in a competition that involved putting picnic tables together. Aspen Place proved victorious in that endeavor, and the six completed tables were later donated back to the community.

Cunningham called 2012 “an exceptional year” and she offered recognition to the many organizations who helped make last year’s success possible.

Six companies were honored for having employees who pledged 10 percent more than last year’s total, each of which received a certificate.

Those honored were Decatur County Memorial Hospital, Fifth Third Bank, Greensburg Community Schools, Honda Manufacturing of Indiana (HMIN), MainSource Bank and Valeo Engine Cooling.

Fifth Third, MainSource and HMIN were honored a second time with a Per Capita Giving award recognizing companies with the highest giving levels.

Aspen Place was given an award as a first-time donor, while campaign chairpersons Greg and Lizette Bell were honored with a plaque. The Bells’ work was called “outstanding” by Cunningham. Tim and Lora Williams will take their place in 2013.

Later, outgoing DCUF President Andy Dudley was honored for his service with a plaque by President-Elect Doug Bohman. Bohman complimented Dudley on his “outstanding leadership and guidance.

Dudley and Sandy Nieman were both presented with pen sets honoring their six years of service. Due to term limitations, both will retire from the DCUF board.

Nominating Committee Chair Dave Jarvis addressed the audience by announcing the officers who will officially be elected in a board meeting next month.

In addition to President-Elect Bohman, Linda Weigel will become First Vice President, Paul Stone will serve as Second Vice President and Joe Moorman will fulfill the duties of Secretary and Treasurer. All nominations were unanimously accepted.

Bohman later outlined his hopes for the year after complimenting the 2012 staff and volunteers on their significant accomplishments.

“They’ve set the bar pretty high,” said Bohman, who added he hoped the 2013 campaign could somehow surpass the previous year’s monumental success. “We want to make our community bigger, stronger and better.”

Shortly before the meeting closed, GECOM, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in October, was recognized as Company of the Year. GECOM celebrated its silver anniversary by donating $10.000 to the United Fund last fall.

Joane Cunningham praised GECOM for its extensive community charitable work and said she was “very excited about what this means for the community.”

For more information about the Decatur County United Fund, call (812) 663-3342.

Contact: Brent Brown 812=663-3111 x7056