TROY —United Way of Troy’s President Earl Reives’ voice broke as he recalled the many community organizations that shaped him into the man he is today — much like the programs and organizations the United of Way of Troy supports today.
Reives shared his story with the United Way of Troy’s 29 agencies who gathered in a kickoff campaign celebration at the Hobart Corporation ITW Food Equipment Group on Ridge Avenue Friday morning.
“I know a story of a little boy who went to a center like Lincoln Center. He went to the Y and he had a free pass to go there. He used some of the services of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and there are a lot of organizations that he became acquainted with that helped him become the young man he is today — and that young man stands before you,” Reives shared. “And I say, thank you all, all you folks who represent these agencies whose effort is to help. And you are able to help as much as you do because of the contributions that come from all of you to the United Way and is then given back. I want to say thank you for the impact you had on my life and let’s continue to help young people through the agencies represented here who receive contributions through the United Way.”
United Way of Troy Executive Director Richard Bender said the agency is setting its goal higher this year at $825,000, which is $15,000 more than the agency’s goal from 2015.
The co-chairs for this year’s campaign are local attorney Andrew Wannemacher and Troy Meijer store manager Dessi Szklany.
Wannemacher said he was honored to be asked to serve on the United Way of Troy board and reflected on how the United Way of Troy shaped his life growing up in Troy.
“I didn’t realize the agencies I was using was funded by the United Way such as swimming at the Lincoln (Community) Center, and I remember Cub Scouts, and dances at The Rec. All these things are important and I didn’t realize it,” Wannemacher said. “The thing I did realize growing up was … how important civic involvement is. My father was a great role model in regards to civic involvement and instilled in me that we have to put forward an effort to make our community stronger.
“I think that’s what makes the United Way a wonderful agency because they make it so easy for everyone to communicate or contribute to this society — whether its serving on boards or serving agencies or just making donations. We are all making our community strong by that.”
Wannemacher said through his work with the Miami County Juvenile Court, he gets to witness firsthand how the community’s families and children benefit from agencies the United Way supports.
“The United Way makes it really easy for everybody in society to donate, that makes this … work,” Wannemacher said. “Those who are donating makes the agency stronger, therefore they make the United Way stronger. Then, as a whole, we make the community stronger. At the end of the day, it makes Troy a great place to call home.”
Mayor Michael Beamish welcomed all the agencies to the campaign kickoff, cheering on the programs to keep serving the Troy community and making a difference in their consumers lives.
“All of us together make a big difference and that’s the ‘United Way,” Mayor Beamish said.
The United Way of Troy relies on donations to help fund the various programs across the nearly 30 partner agencies.
If you are interested in learning more about Troy’s United Way agencies or how to become a businesses partner or donor, contact Bender at (937) 335-8410.
To donate online or to sign-up for a payroll deduction, visit www.unitedwayoftroy.org.
Reach Melanie Yingst at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews