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United Way Celebrates a Giving Community

By Portage County Business Council

United Way of Portage County and the Portage County Community celebrated the conclusion of the 2019 Community Campaign. United Way of Portage County Executive Director Sue Wilcox announced at the organization’s Victory Celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at the SentryWorld Grand Hall that the community had rallied to surpass all previous efforts with a campaign total of $3,203,369!

The campaign surged past the 2019 goal of $3.05 million and then went on to top last year’s campaign total of $3.125 million.

The theme of this year’s Victory Celebration was ‘The Gift of Giving.’  “It is more than a number.  It is a symbol of compassion and concern for our neighbors and our friends – for people we know and many that we do not know” said Wilcox, describing the announced amount of the 2019 campaign.

Two of this year’s Campaign Drive Chairs – Jeff Budelier and Doug Munsey – were on hand at the Victory Celebration to share their experiences and to thank each and every person that helped in taking the campaign to new heights in 2019. The third 2019 Drive Chair, Les Dobbe was unable to attend.  “United Way supports programming that focuses on current, critical needs in Portage County to assist our community’s most vulnerable populations,” said Budelier on behalf of the Drive Chairs. “It truly is a gift that keeps on giving.”

For the seventh year in a row, the United Way of Portage County LIVE UNITED – GIVE UNITED Sweepstakes has thrilled qualified individual donors with prizes donated by local businesses – including a grand prize of a new vehicle. The 2019 sweepstakes concluded with a gift of giving game where each of the semi-finalists randomly selected one of the seven prizes – with Greg Marsicek ultimately walking away with the grand prize of choice of one of seven 2020 vehicles donated by Scaffidi Motors.

Event MC’s Steve Martin and Carrie Dreger also awarded six other prizes with Annette Levandowski of Stevens Point winning the United Way inspired pendant donated by Lee Ayer Jewelers and Thomas Dailing Designs; Elizabeth Phillip of Custer taking home a light painting and portrait from John Hartman Contemporary Photography; Lori Lent of Kronenwetter rode away with a John Deere lawn tractor from Simplicity Credit Union and Reisterer and Schnell; Victoria Perkins of Plover received a Packer Package including Four Green Bay Packers tickets, a $500 gift card, and a signed Packers helmet from Associated Bank; Jason Glodowski of Amherst Junction won a 65” Sony HDTV, and Nintendo Switch package donated by Skyward;  and Mike Kostuch of Stevens Point took away a $1,000 continental US Air Travel Voucher from Northwestern Mutual.

Representatives from Children’s Hospital – Family Outreach and Support Services (FOSS) a funded partner program of United Way of Portage County, provided insight into their work and assisted with the reveal this year’s campaign total during the Victory Celebration. “Many times, it only takes a few connections or changes to completely shift the trajectory a family is on”,” said FOSS Family Support Worker, Julie Koontz, “Thank you for standing behind the FOSS program and giving us the privilege to work in Portage County; getting to witness these transformations firsthand.”

United Way of Portage County brings people and resources together to achieve measurable results that improve people’s lives and strengthen the community. It does so by focusing on the building blocks for a better life – education, health, and financial stability. To learn more, visit

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About United Way of Portage County

United Way is working to inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow by focusing on the building blocks for a better life—education, financial stability, and health. Everyone in the community is invited to be a part of this effort. Give, advocate, volunteer. LIVE UNITED. To learn more, visit

Media Contact Information:
Laura Pfeil
Resource Development Administrator