United Way Hosts Annual Campaign Kick Off Breakfast

United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee will be hosting its annual 2019-2020 Campaign Kick Off on October 29, 2019.  The event will be held at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, located on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College. Networking and light breakfast items will be available at 8:00 a.m. The program will start at 8:30 a.m.

Tickets are on sale for $15, available through the Barbara B. Mann website: bbmannpah.com events/detail/united-way-kickoff-campaign.

The kick off event is the start of United Way’s annual fundraising effort. United Way team members, partner agencies, and volunteers will unite to raise awareness and excitement in the community through the testimonials of donors, advocates, and recipients.  Pacesetter results will be announced at this time.  United Way Pacesetters are companies that run their campaigns early in order to set the pace for the rest of the community.  The event also allows attendees to network with hundreds of United Way supporters.

United Way Campaign Chair Roger Desjarlais will lead the Kick Off to the goal of $10,783,563.  This is 3.3% increase over last year’s goal.  Roger Desjarlais is the Lee County Manager, and has dedicated himself to public service for more than four decades. He moved to Lee County as a teenager, and with the exception of ten years on Florida’s east coast, has lived most of his life here. He has served as Lee County Manager since 2013, and previously was Chief Deputy in the Lee County Property Appraiser Office, Broward County Manager, and Assistant Lee County Manager.

The theme of this year’s campaign is “One Way, United Way.”  Regarding this year’s campaign theme, Desjarlais said, “United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee is our United Way. With one gift, you can help 82 agencies with 245 programs that make a difference to people from early childhood through senior life.  One person, one donor, one volunteer can make a difference in the lives of many of our friends and neighbors.  We want United Way to be your way to make a difference.”

“Being the chair of the United Way Campaign is an honor and a challenge,” Desjarlais continued.  “It is a huge responsibility to raise nearly $10.8 million for our United Way, but I will pursue the goal with passion and enthusiasm. When people ask me why I support our United Way, I answer that it is one of the most efficient, effective and compassionate ways to give back to the community I love.”

A 2019 Lexus UX Hybrid from Scanlon Auto Group, with a two-year lease will be given away to an annual contributor of $240 or more to the 2019-2020 United Way Campaign. Five donors to the campaign are drawn at random, and one will discover the keys in a gift box at the event.

A news release about this year’s Pacesetter results and the 2019-2020 Campaign will be available. Photo and interview opportunities with Pacesetter Companies and United Way Partner Agencies will be plentiful.

All money raised in the United Way campaign stays in the local community to help support the local human service network. United Way Partner Agencies and initiatives include: The Alvin A Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center, Partners for Breast Cancer Care, Harry Chapin Food Bank, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and United Way 211, to mention a few. These agencies serve a diverse range of needs in our community such as nurturing children and youth, strengthening families, and meeting critical needs like helping the elderly and disabled live independently, and empowering communities by bringing health and human services to neighborhoods.

In addition to raising funds for human service organizations in our community, the United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies and initiatives, helping them to work together focusing on issues and solutions that continue to improve lives.

For more information, please call United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee at (239) 433-2000 or visit www.UnitedWayLee.org.

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