UWLC reaches goal; raises $3.608 million during its 2014 STAY CONNECTED Campaign

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April 22, 2015 - Mentor, OH - United Way of Lake County announced their 2014 Stay Connected Campaign surpassed its goal by raising $3,608,752 during the nonprofit organization's Annual Meeting Wednesday morning, which was held at LaMalfa in Mentor.

This year's fundraising campaign - which took place from August 2014 until April 2015 - involved nearly 350 businesses, schools and organizations who held workplace United Way employee pledge campaigns to raise money for the community.

Seventy seven of those businesses or organizations increased their employee pledge campaigns by 10 percent or more.

United Way of Lake County is all about community impact and all dollars raised during the campaign, will be put right back into the community to help solve the most critical issues.

Campaign highlights include:

  • Employees from four companies contributed more than $100,000 each. (The Lubrizol Corporation, FirstEnergy, Avery Dennison and Giant Eagle).
  • More than $150,000 NEW dollars were raised during the campaign.
  • Two special events - Super Raffle and Celebrity Server - combined to raise more than $75,000.
  • The Third Annual "Women's Winterfest: Food for the Holidays" raised nearly $14,000 and the Young Leaders of United Way of Lake County held its first ever Golf Outing, which raised more than $6,000.
  • With the help of more than 33 local restaurants, United Way of Lake County held its 2nd Annual county-wide Dine to Donate which raised more than $8,000.

 The campaign was chaired by Lake Erie College President Michael Victor.    

"It has been a real pleasure and an honor to be involved in the United Way campaign as the chair," Victor said. "It's really refreshing to know how many people in this community really strive to make Lake County a better place to live. I'd like to personally thank all the companies, schools, organizations and individuals who helped us throughout this campaign to help reach goal."  

The Annual Meeting also featured guest speaker Len Komoroski, CEO of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Community, business and philanthropy were the topics he touched on during his 15 minute speech.


United Way of Lake County also announced its 2015 Campaign theme: CHANGE Starts Here, which will kick-off in August.


Dr. Jacqueline Hoynes and Tom Ruffner receive  

UWLC's highest awards


United Way of Lake County recognized two individuals Wednesday morning who have gone above and beyond with volunteering their services to the organization as well as the local community.

 During United Way of Lake County's Annual Meeting, held at LaMalfa in Mentor, Dr. Jacqueline Hoynes received the fifth annual Matt Logies Ambassador Award and Tom Ruffner received the 16th annual Gus Gehring Award.

 Hoynes is well-known in the community for being the former superintendent for Mentor Public Schools before retiring in 2012. During her tenure as superintendent, the district earned "excellence with distinction."

Hoynes has been a long-time volunteer for United Way of Lake County including co-chairing the 2011 United Way campaign with Kevin Lynch of AT&T. She also served as United Way of Lake County's Board Chair in 2014.

The Matt Logies Ambassador Award was named after United Way of Lake County's former Board chair who passed away unexpectedly in his sleep in 2010.

The Gus Gehring Award is presented each year to one of Lake County's outstanding community leaders in recognition of their continued service to United Way of Lake County.

Tom Ruffer has served on United Way of Lake County's Board since 2004 and served as Board Chair in 2006. He is also a member of United Way of Lake County's Special Events Committee. Ruffner, a former mayor of Wickliffe, has been instrumental over the years with the marketing and communications of United Way. He has sat as the Communication Chair on the Campaign Cabinet and has assisted in the development of the organization's campaign posters, brochures, annual reports and designs throughout the years. He has also served on several Evaluation and Investment team committees. Those committees research and evaluate all funded programs.


 Also during the Annual Meeting the organization announced its re-elected and new Board members, including: 


Board Chair - Dave Wiles, CT Consultants

First Vice-Chair - Angi Bensinger, Eaton
Second Vice-Chair - Gabe Rhoads, The Lubrizol Corporation

Treasurer - Dan Wilson, Mentor Public Schools


Elected for first 3-year Term

Janet Blanchard, MD, Plastic Surgeon
Kathleen Buse, Ph. D., Case Western Reserve
Cathy Bush, Lakeland Community College
Sean Campbell, Laborer's Local 310
Ellen Foley Kessler, WINT Radio    

Current members remaining on the board

Todd Alishusky, Sheet Metal Workers Local #33
Thomas W. Benda, The Lubrizol Corporation, retired
Brent Buckley, Buckley-King Law Firm*
Philip A. Cassella, Perry Village Council
Rick Cicero, Lake Health
Joseph A. Cocozzo, The News-Herald, retired
Melissa Crockett Willis, Howard Hanna
William J. Horvath, Community Volunteer
Jacqueline Hoynes, Ph.D ,Akron Public Schools
Al Jones, NAACP
Bob Lee, Lincoln Electric
Gregory Lieb, The Lubrizol Corporation
Kay Malec, Lakeland and Community Volunteer
Frank McGorty, De Nora Tech*
Matt Miller, Mentor Public Schools
Joe Passafiume, Giant Eagle
John Petric, The Lubrizol Corporation
Mary Rossoll, Avery Dennison
Thomas W. Ruffner, Villa Beach Communications
Thomas H. Roseum, TASCO
Steve Roszczyk, City of Willoughby Hills
Tom Salpietra, EYE Lighting
Ray Somich, WINT/Spirit Media
Ron Traub, City of Mentor
William P. Taylor, Paquin
Paul Vanek, M.D., Vanek Plastic Surgery
Michael Victor, Lake Erie College   


 About United Way of Lake County


United Way of Lake County's mission is to measurably improve the quality of lives in Lake County. United Way funds nearly 70 programs throughout the county. Visit www.uwlc.org for more information on United Way funded programs, events, and campaign information. You can also like us at www.facebook.com/unitedwayoflakecounty or follow us at www.twitter.com/uwlc.