United Way of Lake County's Cancelled Celebrity Server Fundraiser Raises Record $66,246

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United Way of Lake County’s 17th Annual Celebrity Server Fundraiser Raises a Record $66,246 Despite Cancellation of Event

May 15, 2020 – Mentor, OH – Despite the cancellation of their 17th Annual Celebrity Server Fundraiser, United Way of Lake County (UWLC) raised a record $66,246 from their “non” event. The fundraiser was originally scheduled to be held March 12, 2020 but was postponed a day prior to this due to the pandemic. It was rescheduled for May 20, 2020, only to be cancelled mid-April.

“When it became clear that our postponed event date was not going to happen, our Campaign Chair, Vanessa Tey Iosue, President of Burges & Burges Strategists, sprung into action leading a switch to an online raffle,” said UWLC Director of Marketing and Communications Tami Lewis. “We also agreed that monies raised would benefit our Lake County Relief Fund, and our Celebrity Servers jumped in at the chance to help, transforming into ‘Community Servers’ and promoting the raffle and baskets each donated,” said Lewis.

The original event was expected to raise an estimated $50,000, but the “non” event far surpassed this. The $66,246 raised is an increase of 60% over the record $40,000 raised at UWLC’s fundraiser last year.

According to UWLC President & CEO Jennifer McCarty, “I’m beyond grateful to Vanessa for her determination in helping us achieve our greatest fundraising success to date. I’m also thankful to our event committee, all the ‘Community Servers’ and local businesses who donated prizes and promoted the raffle, and to everyone at home who participated. I am especially moved by the generosity of those who bought event tickets and opted to donate the funds to us as opposed to requesting refunds. We experienced the very best of our community coming together to help one another.”

A full 100% of proceeds raised from their Lake County Relief Fund are being put back into the community in support of critical needs that have been brought on by the coronavirus. UWLC is providing funds on a rolling basis, and details on how monies have been used thus far can be found on UWLC’s website at uwlc.org/lake-county-relief-fund.

UWLC kicked off the first of three consecutive virtual raffles April 21, 2020 and they ran weekly, ending on May 11, 2020. Participants had the opportunity to purchase online entries for a chance at winning a total of 54 raffle prizes while helping the community. Each week, 18 prizes were up for raffle and winners were announced one day following the end date of each raffle. A complete list of winners can be found on UWLC’s website at uwlc.org/basket-raffle-bonanza-winners.

According to Lewis, “The online raffle provided a fun, easy way for people to give back from the comfort of home. We had no idea how well it would be received and were thrilled with the results. It just shows how deeply Lake County residents care for one another.”

The fundraiser was presented by The Lubrizol Corporation and sponsored by the News-Herald, Lake Health, the Lake County Captains and Lake Metroparks.

Due to great need within the community, UWLC is continuing its efforts to raise funds for the Lake County Relief Fund. Donations can be made in one of three ways: online at uwlc.org/give; by texting LCRelief to 44321; or by mailing a check payable to United Way of Lake County to United Way of Lake County, ATT: Lake County Relief, 9285 Progress Pkwy, Mentor, OH 44060.