The United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley on Thursday night recognized and celebrated the Greater Lehigh Valley companies and individuals who have excelled in their contributions to the community – through giving, volunteering and advocating.
Because of them, the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley raised $11,811,120 in its 2015 campaign – a record-setting year.
The honorees were recognized at the 2016 Celebration of Caring awards ceremony at DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township. For the first time, the event sold out in advance, with more than 400 people in attendance.
One award-winner was Talen Energy, which took home the Live United Award for its engagement in the community and contribution toward improving the quality of life for those in need. Alvin H. Butz Inc. and B. Braun Medical Inc. were co-winners of the Campaign Chairman’s Award for demonstrating leadership and innovation in conducting a United Way campaign and increasing awareness of the organization’s mission and vision.
Wendy Born, whose husband Ross Born is co-CEO of Just Born Inc., was presented with the Women’s Leadership Council Betsy Torrence Philanthropist of the Year Award, which is the WLC’s highest honor.
Born has a long history of activism with United Way in leadership roles and at the grassroots level. In 1989, she helped to found United Way’s Tocqueville Society, which consists of donors who give in excess of $10,000 annually to United Way’s campaign.
Born was one of the founders of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council in 2002 and served on WLC’s first cabinet. She remains a WLC member and is on the United Way board of directors.
The State Theatre of Easton was presented with the Air Products Leonard Pool Impact Award, recognizing a nonprofit that demonstrates commitment to community leadership, stewardship of community resources, active volunteer engagement and improving lives.
“To be honored for the qualities that Leonard Pool valued and embodied is extremely important to us,” Shelley Brown, president and CEO of the State Theatre, said this morning. “We enjoy a very special relationship with the community not only by presenting shows, but for the many programs we run involving students and other nonprofits.”
On stage at Thursday night’s celebration, 18 Cornerstone Companies were recognized after each raising $100,000 or more for United Way’s 2015-16 campaign: PPL Corp., Air Products & Chemicals Inc., Talen Energy, Victaulic, Crayola, CrossAmerica Partners, Just Born Inc., Lutron, The Guardian, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Alvin H. Butz Inc., National Penn Bank, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Brown-Daub Dealerships, St. Luke’s University Health Network, B. Braun Inc., City Center Lehigh Valley and Wegmans.
Other 2015-16 awards and recipients are:
Labor Achievement Award: Presented to an individual member or team from organized labor that actively and regularly supports United Way’s community organizations by moving people to action through volunteer service, positively impacting the community.
Winner: Lehigh Valley Carpenters Union.
Community Building Award: Presented to an individual or organization that supports United Way in its community-building efforts, encourages cooperation, contributes talents and sustains partnerships.
Winner: Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit and Business Partners Council.
Volunteer Leadership Award: Presented to campaign volunteers who demonstrate outstanding leadership, use United Way best practices and make every effort to help the campaign succeed.
Co-winners: Alyssa Nole and Veronica Gonzalez, Lehigh Valley Health Network.
TeenWorks Making a Difference Award: Presented to recognize the TeenWorks “Project of the Year” by local teens and funded through a TeenWorks grant. Projects are accomplished throughout the Lehigh Valley and make a difference in communities and in the lives of the young people who perform the service.
Winner: Cameron Chuss, TeenWorks.
The mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley is to provide the leadership, convene the partnerships and develop the resources and solutions that improve the community. This year’s funding supports 109 programs at 61 nonprofit partners.