Area United Way's annual fund-raiser draws in more than $13.8M


Citing a community effort encompassing thousands of volunteers, United Way of Greater Toledo slightly surpassed its 2012 annual fund-raising campaign goal, agency officials announced Thursday night.

The agency raised $13,828,490; its goal was $13.8 million.

“In a very tough economy, we had very good support,” said Randy Oostra, president and chief executive officer of ProMedica and chairman of this year’s campaign.

Added CEO Karen Mathison, “Thank you to the community. They have been very generous [with] their support to advance education, income, and health.”

United Way’s aim the previous year was also to raise $13.8 million, and the agency then raised about $13.6 million. The agency’s highest fund-raising year was 1999, when the campaign pulled in slightly more than $15 million.

About 33,000 individuals contributed to the 2012 campaign, said Kim Sidwell, United Way’s senior vice president of resource development.

The nonprofit’s yearly campaign raises money to aid programs and nonprofit organizations in Lucas, Wood, and Ottawa counties aimed at improving education, income, and health, with a particular emphasis on graduating youth from high school.

The campaign kicked off in September.

Additionally at the group’s meeting Thursday night, several individuals joined the organization’s board. Among them: Kevin Cook, president and CEO of Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center; Cynthia Geronimo, executive director of the Lucas County Land Bank; Beverly Schmoll, dean of the college of health sciences at the University of Toledo, and W.H. “Chip” Carstensen, president of Block Communications Inc.

Mr. Carstensen will be the 2013 United Way campaign chairman. Block Communications is the parent company of The Blade.

“We have a momentum now that will only build in 2013,” Ms. Mathison said.