10 Jan, 2022
by Steve Logan
The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley announced today that the 2019 Centennial Campaign raised $3,454,454 for the community, exceeding the $3 million goal. Thanks to the generosity of our Centennial Presenting Sponsors, the donors, and the 100th Anniversary Celebration, we raised the most amount of money in our United Way’s history, breaking the record set in 1991 with $3,352,973.
“Our history of serving those in need is rooted deep here in our Valley. We are amazed at the generosity of our donors and volunteers, they honored those who came before us and those who will come after us by raising more than $3.4 million.” said Bob Hannon, President of the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. “I am humbled as the president of the United Way during its 100th Anniversary Celebration. I know our current staff, board, and donors made our founding fathers proud with all we accomplished in 2019.”
The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley spent 2019 honoring its past and the 11 founding fathers who established the organization with the original mission “to promote the general welfare of the community of Youngstown, Ohio, and vicinity, and for such purpose to receive, use and disburse money and other property either directly or through others.” Asael E. Adam chaired the very first campaign and raised $328,234 in 1919. Since then, there have been five Executive Directors/ Presidents with Hannon being the sixth, 31 Board Chairs, and 104 Campaign Chairs raising more than $168 million for the Mahoning Valley.
The United Way announced its 2019 Centennial Campaign results at The Lake Club alongside the four Centennial Celebration Presenting Sponsors who served as the campaign chairs – Greenwood Chevrolet, PNC Bank, The Muransky Companies, and Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC. The presenting sponsors raised $100,000 to help with the public awareness campaign for the 100th Anniversary.
“We are thankful for our four Presenting Sponsors. They stepped up in a big way to allow us to celebrate 100 years of making Generations of Impact,” said Hannon. “With their generosity we were able to get our message out to more than our loyal donors.”
The Frank And Pearl Gelbman Charitable Foundation matched any new or increased donation to the United Way in honor of its century of work in the community. Special events held throughout the year also contributed to the campaign, especially the Centennial Champions: A Black Tie Affair Gala that raised a record breaking $320,000.
As the United Way looks to the future, they invited students from Youngstown Community School’s Success After 6 initiative to join the United Way for the announcement. Success After 6 is an early childhood initiative that focuses on the whole child and whole family. It provides wraparound services, including an after-school program, to students at 14 schools in 6 districts – Campbell, Girard, Liberty, Struthers, Youngstown City Schools, and Youngstown Community School.
Five students helped United Way unveil the actual amount raised, while two of the young men spoke about their experience in the Success After 6 programs including afterschool as well as the Promising Men’s Mentorship. This program pairs up students at Youngstown Community School and Taft with African American and Hispanic men in the community.
“Promising Men is basically teaching young men to be responsible and respectful and to take a good path in your career and life,” said YCS 8th grader Justin Mahone. “My favorite part is being around people who’ve been in our shoes. It gives us a chance to be better.”
Several other donors continue to make a significant impact on the Success After 6 initiative by “adopting” a school. We want to thank the “Adopt-A-School” Champions – Gloria Jones and Fireline Inc for adopting Martin Luther King Elementary School in honor of the late Roger Jones, Denise Debartolo-York and the Debartolo Corporation for adopting Williamson Elementary School, Huntington Bank for adopting McGuffey Elementary School, The Andrews Foundation for adopting Struthers Elementary School, Chris and Ed Muransky for adopting Youngstown Community School – and “Adopt-A-School” Partners – AIM Transportation Solutions and Thomases Family Endowment of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation.
Volunteerism is also on the rise with the United Way and its initiatives in the schools. In 2019, 1,800 people volunteered in the community. They participated in the annual Day of Caring, mentoring programs, tutoring programs, food pantries, Women United, and Success After 6 after school classroom projects.
“Once people see firsthand the work we are doing, they are more likely to give financially. We appreciate the time our volunteers give on a daily or weekly basis, and are thankful when they turn into donors, ” said Hannon. “We need both donations of time and money to make a true impact.”
Our United Way also funds 51 programs run by 35 non-profit agencies that do work in education and emergency services. These agencies are valuable partners and continue to impact our Valley in significant ways. We are currently reviewing applications for the 2020-2022 funding cycle.
Our United Way also funds Success By 6, a pre-kindergarten readiness program that helps students prepare for their first time in a classroom, and Imagination Library, a free book program for children under the age of 5 in Mahoning County that also helps parents with literacy techniques. Our two mentoring programs, Young Women’s Mentorship at two schools and Promising Men’s Mentorship Program at Youngstown Community School and Taft Elementary.
The United Way’s building at 255 Watt Street in Youngstown is currently under renovation. They plan to announce the results of a capital campaign at an open house this spring.
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