United Way Holds 7th Annual Kick-Off Breakfast and Fundariser

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Bobby Brock (right), Imperial Valley Community Foundation president/CEO,  and Treasurer Fidel Gonzalez presented United Way of Imperial County a contribution check in the amount of $7,000 during the annual kick-off breakfast Wednesday.

EL CENTRO – Joined by close to 100 donors, volunteers, and staff, the United Way of Imperial County kicked off its 7th annual campaign and award recognition of past donors with a hot buffet breakfast at the El Centro Police Athletic League Center Wednesday, September 14.

For 36 years, United Way of Imperial County (UWOIC) has raised funds to support health and human care services in Imperial County with the help of over 65 local businesses.

“The goal of every United Way of Imperial County campaign is to increase the monetary contribution that we then pass on to our member agencies,” said Ken Wuytens, executive director for the United Way of Imperial County. “Our last campaign saw very generous support from a wide plus section of businesses, non-profit and public sector entities, and for that we (UWOIC) thank them.”

Wuytens presented a series of awards for various categories during Wednesday’s breakfast event.

dsc_0444The Above and Beyond award was presented to United Parcel Service, Inc. for staging the Cornhole Tournament for the past three years with all proceeds benefiting UWOIC.

United Way’s Community Service award went to Macy’s with the department store having almost 100 percent employee participation in payroll deduction contribution and gifts donated during Christmas time for families and back to school supplies donations.

The Top Contributor award was presented to the employees of United Parcel Service for its high payroll deduction contribution.

Meanwhile, the Educational Enhancement award was presented to the Imperial Valley Community Foundation, who also presented UWOIC with a $7,000 check.

“For the past six years United Way of Imperial County has been engaged in helping local youth succeed with a Homework Health Center,” explained Wuytens. “The $7,000 grant presented today by the Imperial Valley Community Foundation supplies educators who provide extra assistance to youth experiencing educational challenges, and we are all aware that education is the key to success.”

Elsa Gonzalez, a volunteer with the Sister Evelyn Mourey Center, said she has been attending the annual breakfast for the past three years.

“This foundation opens many doors for people who are in need of assistance, and I am glad to see the community coming together for this great cause,” said Gonzalez.

UWOIC provides funding to 19 nonprofit social service agencies ($200,000+). The organization also assists those in need to find sustainable solutions to their problems. In cooperation with local agencies and corporate partners, UWOIC conducts a free annual Diabetes Screening Clinic, distributes hams and other food goods to over 500 families area wide at Easter time, and chairs the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Members of United Way also sit on the board of the Imperial County Continuum of Care and take an active part in its efforts to reduce homelessness.

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