Local Impact Highlighted at Allegan County United Way Celebration Event


On Thursday, February 21, Allegan County United Way hosted its third annual Live United Celebration event at The Silo. Throughout the morning, United Way staff and guests celebrated a year of impact, the amount raised during the annual community campaign, recognized outstanding campaign companies and volunteers, presented awards and launched the 2019 Impact Report.

Associate Director of Live United Engagement Susan Henderson shared volunteer statistics from the past year. In 2018, United Way had 715 volunteers who gave 2,979 hours of their time, worth $73,552. Penny Bursma of Perrigo was recognized as Volunteer of the Year. Susan Henderson said, “Penny’s dedication to Allegan County United Way and many other organizations in the community have earned her this award. Penny tirelessly spends her time improving the lives of those around her in her volunteer efforts.”

Director of Live United Engagement Amanda Telgenhof announced that the United Way campaign raised a total of $601,755. The ‘Out of the Box’ Award for an innovative campaign approach went to the Allegan Area Educational Service Agency (AAESA). The ‘Above & Beyond’ Award went to Laurie Zywiczynski from Wayland Union Schools for outstanding efforts to support the workplace campaign. Silver Campaign Awards went to: Allegan County United Way, AAESA, Allegan County Community Mental Health and Perrigo Company plc. A Gold Campaign Award went to Hopkins Public Schools.

The 2018-2019 ‘Community Hero’ Award went to Gun Lake Casino for making a significant impact on the community by funding the Imagination Library program, which is part of United Way’s Early Learning Initiative. Gun Lake Casino provided a $100,000 gift to United Way to underwrite the program for an entire year. United Way President Patrick Moran said, “Gun Lake Casino swooped in like a hero. The exponential growth of Imagination Library put major stress on our fundraising, and without their support, either Imagination Library or another program in its place would have been completely eliminated.”

Allegan County United Way’s 2019 Impact Report was also launched during the Celebration event. The report highlights United Way’s impact in Allegan County in the past year. To view the report online, click here.