United Way Honors Local Businesses, Announces Annual Campaign Results

United Way of Southeastern Connecticut hosted its Campaign Celebration event to recognize local businesses and organizations that ran outstanding fundraising campaigns and volunteer year-round on behalf of United Way. Those in attendance were also among the first to learn how much had been raised during the organization’s annual fundraising campaign. More than 320 community leaders and volunteers gathered at Foxwoods Resort Casino to celebrate the achievement.

At the event, 2015-16 United Way Campaign Co-chairs Nikki Gullickson, Assistant Superintendent of Stonington Schools, and Donna Yother, President of SAVA Insurance Group in Waterford, announced that $5,924,400 was raised. This amount marks a 2% increase over last year.

"As individuals we can only accomplish so much," noted Brian A. Orenstein, President and CEO of Charter Oak Federal Credit Union and Chair of United Way’s Board of Directors. "But by coming together and focusing our resources and energy towards the fight against hunger, providing a safety net for those in need, and supporting a network of 70 local health and human services, we have the strength to lift up the entire community."

United Way’s highest honor, the Chairman's Award of Excellence, was presented to Electric Boat and the Electric Boat Employees Community Services Association. The company provided a corporate gift of $350,000 with the employees donating $1,825,000 for a total donation of $2,175,000. This amount is an increase of 11.2% over last year, and means that the company and its employees also received a "Breakthrough Award" for giving more than $2 million.

Electric Boat employees volunteer tirelessly throughout the year, especially when it comes to collecting food for the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center, a program operated by United Way. In total, all of the food drives that Electric Boat employees ran collected nearly 107,000 pounds of food, or the equivalent of nearly 90,000 meals for families in our community facing hunger.

Other high honors were presented to Mohegan Sun as Community Leader of the Year, Norwich Public Utilities as United Way Partner of the Year, Zachry Nuclear Engineering for Spirit of the Community, and Foxwoods Resort Casino/Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation for Innovative Partner of the Year. Foxwoods also received a "Breakthrough Award" for topping $100,000 in employee giving. Visit United Way's website to see all of the award winners.

United Way's Campaign Celebration was sponsored by Foxwoods Resort Casino/Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation to ensure that no donor dollars were spent on the event.

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About United Way of Southeastern Connecticut
United Way of Southeastern Connecticut is a locally-based non-profit organization supporting a network of 70 health and human services, programs, and initiatives in New London County that work together to help people in need and improve community conditions. Supported programs include early care and education, child development and disabilities, physical and mental health care, crisis intervention, shelter, employment training, emergency/disaster preparation, and response and recovery services.

United Way operates the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center which provides food to 81 free emergency food programs and a Mobile Food Pantry program, at no cost to those in need. United Way supports 2-1-1 Connecticut for free information and referral 24/7 and Project Warm-up for one-time, emergency heating assistance. Visit United Way online at www.uwsect.org to get involved.