Thursday January 7, 2021
It came down to the wire. But when an anonymous donor from Rushsylvania made an $1,800 online gift on United Way of Logan County's website last Wednesday, it lifted pledges to the organization's annual campaign over the $1 million mark for the third straight year.
The milestone-making gift was symbolic of many generous individual and corporate donations that poured in during the last four weeks of the year. As of Thanksgiving, United Way officials were projecting a final outcome around $925,000. Today, United Way reports that a final total of $1,014,503 has been pledged to support its fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Logan County.
"This is as good of a "feel-good" story as you could write to put a bow on 2020 and unwrap the New Year," said Dave Bezusko, United Way Executive Director. "Logan County remains the smallest community in Ohio to ever achieve a $1 million United Way campaign. It's now happened three years in a row. And it's happened despite the many challenges that 2020 leveled against the community and the way we typically go about fundraising."
"We are so grateful for each of the 3,030 residents and 141 businesses that stepped up in this unprecedented year to give so generously," said Katie Rychener, who along with her husband Darrin Haubert, Co-Chaired the 2020 Campaign. "Every dollar counted and it came down to the second to last day of 2020 for us to cross the threshold!"
Bezusko says it's clear that people who were in position to give generously this year did. United Way received a record 131 gifts of $1,000 or more this campaign, including more than 40 during the month of December to help push the campaign over the top.
"As transplants to this amazing community 15 years ago, we take great pride as residents in knowing and having it reaffirmed that we take care of our own," Rychener said. "We truly picked the most incredible community in Ohio for our family to call home. Thank you, Logan County. We appreciate you!"
Though COVID restrictions will prevent United Way from conducting its annual gathering of corporate and agency partners to celebrate philanthropic achievement this year, plans are in the works to finalize corporate and volunteer recognition. Bezusko says more announcements, including the awarding of the coveted corporate Traveling Trophies, will come later this month.
Though the campaign goal was achieved for the 7th straight year, 2020 marks the first time in 10 years that the amount raised was less than the previous year. 2020 donations were off by four percent from last year's all-time record.
Money raised by United Way will support 51 programs of 32 Logan County human service agencies in 2021. A complete line-by-line directory of United Way funded programs is available here.
Pictured above, from left to right, United Way volunteers and staff, including: Natasha Kennedy, Ashley Spence , Carmen LeVan , Annette Deao, Dave Bezusko, Sally Stolly, Katie Rychener, Darrin Haubert, Dawn Beelman, Scotty Elliott, Cheryl Varian, Christy Myers, Kris Myers, Bill Miller, Corey Van Hoose, Bill Montgomery, Kelsey Webb, Shannon Reese, and Danielle Anderson.