City’s United Way drive raises more than $52,000

Online Staff Report

The City of Rockford United Way Committee reported Nov. 18 that the 2014 annual drive saw an increase in individual participation by 12 percent and an increase in total contributions by 28 percent, bringing the 2014 total contribution to $52,607.40.

We were very pleased to see the increase in participation in this year’s drive,” said Director of Human Resources Julia Scott-Valdez. “Several of our more generous donors have retired over the past two years, so rebuilding participation has become a primary goal in our United Way drive.”

The City of Rockford United Way team is composed of employee representatives from each of the city’s 10 departments. The employee teams were allowed to develop drives that would complement their individual department’s culture as well as assisting in the coordination of several special events that were open for all city employees.

The all-time favorite United Way activity is the Chili Cook-Off,” Scott-Valdez said. “This has become an annual event that brings people and food together for a friendly competition. The employees enjoy having some fun, but more importantly, they enjoy supporting a great cause like United Way.”

The Rockford Fire Department saw the greatest increase in participation with 71 percent of their firefighters participating in 2014, as compared to 51 percent in 2013.

Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten was proud in his team’s accomplishments as he offered his personal thanks to the team: “I would like to thank everyone from the Rockford Fire Department for their generosity to the United Way campaign this year. Our department raised an amazing $28,200 in pledges for the United Way. I would like to especially thank District Chief Steve Preiss for heading up the campaign for the Fire Department and to Local 413 Firefighter’s Union President Chris Scrol for his continued support of the program.”

The Rockford Fire Department got especially creative this year, offering a special incentive to those individuals who pledged to donate $5 or more a pay period. District Chief Preiss and Local 413 Firefighters Union President Chris Scrol each worked an additional 24-hour shift and offered to use the time as a raffle prize as an incentive for members to contribute.

Every day, we help our citizens in need, and this is yet another example of how we do that,” said Chief Bergsten. “I thank everyone who participated in this fund-raising effort, and so do the thousands of local people who are helped by the United Way.”

Total final donations to the United Way were $51,556.00 for individual donations and $1,051.40 for special events, bringing the total donations to $52,617.40.

Posted Nov. 18, 2014

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