United Way of Lake County's August 29, 2019 Campaign Kickoff Enjoys Record Crowd

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Jennifer McCarty, UWLC President & CEO (left) with UWLC 2019 Campaign Chair Vanessa Tey Iosue, President of Burges and Burges Strategists

United Way of Lake County’s August 29 Campaign Kickoff Attracts Record Crowd for High School Drumline Showcase


Mentor, OH (August 29 2019) – United Way of Lake County (UWLC) kicked off their 2019 Campaign Kickoff Wednesday, August 28, 2019 from 6 pm – 8:30 pm with a free community event at Classic Park in Eastlake, home of the Lake County Captains.

The event showcased a performance by the marching band drumlines of five Lake County high schools. Participating high school included the Mentor Fighting Cardinals Marching Band Drumline, the Fairport Skippers Marching Band Drumline, the Harvey Red Raider Marching Band Drumline, the Lake Catholic Cougar Pride Marching Band Drumline and the Madison Blue Streaks Marching Band Drumline.

This was UWLC’s second annual drumline showcase and its largest kickoff to date. A record crowd of approximately two thousand guests enjoyed lively performances from the drumlines along with an agency fair, a 50/50 raffle and a t-shirt toss. The fireworks planned to cap off the night were canceled due to heavy winds.  

The bands were competing for the title of UWLC’s Community Impact Champion. The goal was to raise the most donations for UWLC. Guests were asked to support their favorite drumline by giving via text or by stuffing their favorite school’s donation jar at the event.

All totaled, over $8,000 was raised to benefit Lake County’s most vulnerable residents, exceeding UWLC’s goal of $6,000. The Harvey Red Raider Marching Band Drumline took home the trophy by raising $3,068, the most raised by any one school at the event.

UWLC President and CEO Jennifer McCarty and UWLC’s 2019 Campaign Chair, Vanessa Tey Iosue, President of Burges and Burges Strategists opened the show by addressing the crowd.

“Today is the official kickoff of the 2019-2020 campaign and the clock for me starts right now,” said Tey Iosue, who went on to introduce and thank her campaign cabinet before revealing a donor appreciation incentive planned for the campaign courtesy of her firm, Burges and Burges Strategists.

“Everyone who donates a minimum of one dollar a week, or fifty-two dollars a year, now through February 14, 2020, qualifies for a chance to win a Grand Prize of 6 Nights in Cancun plus one-thousand dollars in cash,” she said, before referring guests to visit www.uwlc.org for details and additional contest prizes.

Ryan “Shugabooga” Gilkerson, host of the Franchise Radio Show on 95.9 FM Cleveland and lead creative at Company 119, served as Master of Ceremonies.

According to Tami Lewis, UWLC’s Director of Marketing and Communications, “Ryan is a great local talent and we were lucky he agreed to serve as our emcee. He has a huge heart and is known throughout Lake County for the work he does to uplift others. His charisma, commanding personality, boundless energy and ability to engage with an audience is like no other. He made the event special for everyone there.”

“We’re thankful to the Lake County Captains and the city of Eastlake for welcoming our use of the stadium to host our kickoff celebration. They went above and beyond to ensure our event was a huge success,” said McCarty.

In addressing the crowd McCarty went on to say, “Our hope is to inspire you to join us in support of the work we do to help those in need right here in Lake County. All totaled, 83,732 services were provided last year to residents in need through our support of agency programs. All due to the support of community.”

McCarty also noted that all Lake County high schools were invited to participate in the drumline showcase  but due to scheduling conflicts many were unable to attend.

Lake Health sponsored the event. Representatives from Avery Dennison, Component Repair Technologies (CRT), FirstEnergy and The Lubrizol Corporation, UWLC’s four largest corporate contributors, were all on hand in support. Suites were also filled by supporters from Lighthouse Advisers in Mentor, the UWLC Board of Directors and Burges and Burges Strategists.