[Wausau, WI] United Way of Marathon County announced awards and recognitions yesterday at a beautiful luncheon with more than 165 guests. Sweepstakes award winners were also recognized with two in-person surprises.
The LIVE UNITED Award was presented to a company who supports United Way year-round, by actively running an employee campaign and encouraging their employees to volunteer. Miron Construction Co. Inc increased their campaign by 39% from last year and increased their number of donors by 37%. This year they had a kickoff event at the local office to tie into the corporate kick-off and offered a kit-building activity to assemble 50 personal hygiene kits. They also invited a speaker from 211 to talk about their services and how 211 could be used as a resource. Miron continues to advocate for the community in every location through local sponsorships, fundraisers, and area events. It’s this continued commitment to United Way that demonstrates the spirit of what it truly means to LIVE UNITED.
Dedication to Service Award- This award goes to a person and agency that directly impacts our new mission and bold goal, UNITING TO THRIVE. She is a strong advocate for all people who have legal barriers in their lives. Whether it is transportation challenges, housing, domestic violence, or other legal issues, Beth Ann Richlen, from Wisconsin Judicare has dedicated her career to serving people who are struggling with various legal issues. During her career, Beth Ann has been recognized for her work with the Northern Wisconsin Legal Advice Project, where she received the Wisconsin Legal Innovator Award. She also has been honored with the Outstanding Service to Domestic Violence Award to victims from The Women’s Community. Beth Ann served as the Co-Chair of the Marathon County Housing and Homelessness Coalition, an initiative of United Way of Marathon County. During her tenure, the coalition created a housing inventory tool that assisted people with finding affordable housing options for low-income and homeless families. Beth Ann is a fierce advocate who will stand up for what is right.
Partners in Caring Award- Over the past three years, this organization has been in the news front and center tackling an issue that affects many people in our community. Affordable and quality childcare is a need in every community. Childcaring Inc. provides quality childcare information to parents, care providers, business leaders, and community organizations in our area. They serve as a resource to potential and existing regulated childcare providers. Childcaring helps families locate childcare that meets their needs and works cooperatively with community partners to increase the supply of quality and affordable childcare. They also are a strong advocate for innovative programming with local, state, and national leaders. Childcaring has been a long-time member of the Early Years Coalition and has helped facilitate local education efforts around the value of early childhood education, including Baby Business, a series of forums with local business leaders.
Advocate of the Year- Dr. Corrie Norrbom is a clinical faculty member at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Co-Director of the Physician in the Community course. Corrie was a founding member and board member of One Wausau, a diversity project. She is the founder of the Hmong and Hispanic Communication Network (H2N), which collaborates with public health organizations and systems, resource agencies like 211, and community organizations with resources and tools to better withstand health crises. She is the Program Director of LENA Start, a United Way-funded program, designed to build school readiness, and strengthen families by increasing conversation with their children during the first few years of life. Corrie is a member of Healthy Marathon County and The Marathon County Early Years Coalition and so many others. When there is an issue that affects children, Corrie will advocate for what is best for kids. She is a dedicated professional and passionate human who stands up for children and uses her professional platform to make a difference.
The 2022 Volunteer of the Year Award goes to an individual that has showcased volunteerism throughout the year. Congratulations Kris Kubnick. As a father of two, Kris is dedicated to giving back. He has been involved with United Way of Marathon County since 2019 and is committed to making the community a great place to live and work. Recently he volunteered with Emerging Leaders to tie blankets as part of the Be Amazing Group. He has also dedicated time to Make a Difference Day raking yards for community members and helping as an Emerging Leader board member. Kris has lived in Marathon County most of his life and has worked for Inclusa as a social worker for more than 16 years. As a member of United Way’s Emerging Leaders, he focuses on creating opportunities for young professionals in the Marathon County. During the pandemic, he jumped right in to help with a modified smack hunger and pack snack kits for students. He also organized Adopt a Classroom boxes for students this past spring which impacted children in multiple schools. Kris has volunteered at the Warming Center and at area parks to improve the Born Learning Trails. Outside of work and volunteering, he loves to spend time outdoors, camping with his family, and hunting and fishing.
Retired Volunteer of the Year- This volunteer is well-known to many people for her dedication and commitment to making our community a better place. Donna Staples is an example of a volunteer who is a long-time friend and supporter of United Way. She served on United Way’s Board of Directors. She has been a member of United Way’s Personnel Committee. She was an early leader of the development of Women United. She also has delivered boxes of donated books to area schools and has participated in United Way’s Adopt a Classroom. In addition to supporting United Way, she was on the Advisory Board of Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin, a member of Junior Achievement and most recently delivering meals for Mobile Meals. She retired from Peoples State Bank in 2020 but joined another United Way committee, Retire United in 2019.
Campaigner of the Year- Every great committee has a strong leader. For the first time in several years, this person was able to include in-person special events like a chili cook-off and raffles that raised $400.00. He also initiated a “Welcome Home” basket drive in which the employees were encouraged to put together a basket for a family that is moving into permanent housing and donate it to the United Way. He was helpful in getting a full table of employees at the Summit League event. He was also able to increase the company donations by 27% and increase the number of donors by 20% from the previous year. He is also passionate about the Marathon County Hunger Coalition. Congratulations Shawn Sullivan, from Northcentral Technical College, as the Campaigner of the Year for 2022.
Sweepstakes Winners were:
The first-place winner, receiving $7,000 was Tracy Wendt, from EO Johnson Technologies.
The second-place winner, receiving $2,500 was Erika Anderson, from the Wausau School District.
Terri Murphy, from Aspirus won gift certificates to Janke Book Store, Sam’s Pizza, Evolutions In Design, the Milk Merchant, and Briq’s Soft Serve.
Ann Kramer, from Northwinds Tech Solutions, won a Gift Certificates from County Market & Festival Foods.
Tara Rainville, from the DC Everest Middle School, won a $500 Gift Certificate to the Wausau Chamber.
Mark Szymanski, from Crystal Finishing Systems, won a $500 Gift Certificate to Grebes.
Chris Manteufel, from Greenheck, won a $500 Gift Cards to Kwik Trip.
Matthew Schmidt, from Window and Wall Systems, won a $500 Gift Certificate to Brickner’s of Wausau.
Emily Gulbrandsen, from Menzner Hardwoods, won a $500 Gift Certificate to the Grand Theatre.
Paul & Coleen Hunsanger won $1,000.
Outstanding Campaign Committee of the Year- Greenheck Group Committee This company was chosen as the committee of the year because of their special events and numerous volunteer projects. They hosted a golf outing and volleyball tournament that raised money for United Way. Greenheck committee hosted an internal Summit League Recognition Luncheon to thank all leadership givers that included a calm kit-building activity. Their employees participated in leaf raking for Make a Difference Day and employees also volunteered for projects at the United Way office for Week of Action. Their employees built hundreds of kits throughout the year to donate to area nonprofits and continue to set the expectation of philanthropy and community.
Five Shining Star Awards- The employees of these companies ran campaigns that have shown participation growth, leadership growth, overall dollars raised, corporate gifts, and volunteerism. These employees are true advocates for United Way.
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The Medical College of Wisconsin
Northcentral Technical Collage
Special Project of the Year Award- Mary and Jerry Frickenstein for their volunteering spirit and participation as RSVP members.
The Carol Pasnecker Office Volunteer Award- Jane Blick, for her dedication to volunteering and carrying on the spirit of Carol’s name.
See more awards here: https://www.unitedwaymc.org/campaign-resources
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