United Way campaign breaks all records

United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore on Friday celebrated the generosity of community members at the 72nd Annual Meeting and Community Leaders Celebration, thanks to University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

More than 300 community members and 150 organizations and companies representing Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and Dorchester counties attended, providing United Way an opportunity to recognize members of the community who exhibit exceptional generosity for Lower Shore residents in need.

Highlights of the meeting included: The official announcement of United Way surpassing the 2016 Campaign goal, raising a record breaking $2.2 million, an awards ceremony honoring volunteers and outstanding service, and the installation of incoming United Way Board of Directors.

“This has been an incredible year,” said incoming Board President Jim Hartstein. “Our community has strongly supported our United Way to bring hope and support to our most vulnerable neighbors on the Shore.  Surpassing the campaign goal means more local at-risk children will reach their full potential, more local senior citizens will not go hungry and more local veterans will receive critical health care services.”

Now in its 73rd year, United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore continues to be the largest non-governmental source of funding for 74 critical programs in Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and Dorchester.

United Way helps Eastern Shore residents obtain Educational Success by reducing the achievement gap between low and middle income students, Financial Stability by advancing the economic security of families and individuals in our community, and Good Health by improving access to and awareness of local health and wellness services.

In 2016, United Way provided nearly $1.4 million to community programs and helped to change the lives of over 80,000 individuals.                                                                                                                                                        

2016 United Way Award Recipients

2016 County Campaign Coordinators of the Year

Wicomico: Mark Thompson & the WCBOE Team, Wicomico County Public Schools

Worcester: Eric Lagstrom, Town of Ocean City

Somerset: Gary Kitching and Michelle Taylor, Somerset County Commissioners

Dorchester: Lisa Fatica, Interstate Container

2016 County Volunteers of the Year

Wicomico: Dana Seiler, Vantage Point Solutions Group

Worcester: Cole Taustin, BLU Crabhouse & Raw Bar and Embers Restaurant

Somerset: Kimberly Conway-Dumpson, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Dorchester: Jennifer Layton, Layton’s Chance Winery  

Emerging Leader of the Year

Candice Schroepfer, Perdue Farms

Salisbury University Student United Way Volunteer of the Year

Katie Kirby, Salisbury University

Pocomoke High School Student United Way Volunteer of the Year

Gracie Boyce, Pocomoke High School

Flame of Excellence Award

Worcester County Board of Education

Heart of United Way

Connie Strott, Law Office of George G. Strott Jr.

President’s Trophy  

Jim Hartstein, The Insurance Market

Spirit of the Shore Award

Somerset County Public Schools

Jim Barrett Community Leadership Award  

Susan Purnell, Kuhn’s Jewelers


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