Ribbon Cut

United Way of Logan County celebrates 60 years with a ribbon cutting

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[October 10, 2021]   On Saturday morning a group gathered outside the office of the United Way of Logan County office on McLean Street in Lincoln to celebrate the 60th year of the organization with a ribbon cutting.

Those behind the ribbon for the cut included United Way Administrative Director Patti Becker, board members Stacy May, Jaylee Swinford, and Adrienne Klockenga, Lincoln Aldermen Kevin Bateman, Rick Hoefle and Wanda Lee Rohlfs, City Clerk Peggy Bateman, Logan County Fair Queen Caroline Ahrends, Junior Miss Logan County Alayna Briggs, Logan County Tourism Director Alice Roate, guest Tom Schonauer, Joe Schaler with the Central Illinois Veterans Commission and Karen Hargis with Lincoln Daily News.

In the absence of Lincoln Mayor Tracy Welch, Mayor Pro Tem Bateman spoke on behalf of the city congratulating the organization of 60 successful years. He noted that the local organization has been a great asset to the community and wished them much success in the future. It was also noted that the United Way organization on the whole has been in existence for more than 100 years.

Becker spoke on behalf of the organization saying that the work of the United Way in Logan County has benefited many organizations over the years. Annually the group supports at least a dozen local not-for-profit organizations that provide vital services to the community. Becker said she couldn’t say just how much money has been distributed over the history of the local United Way, but she is certain that the total over the past 10 years or so has exceeded $1,000,000; all from fundraising through community support.

It was also noted that the United Way will support 14 such programs in the 2022 year. Among those four the American Red Cross Serving Central Illinois, W.D. Boyce Council Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois, and the Salvation Army 360 Center – Lincoln Center, are 60-year partners having received funding every year since the beginning of the local United Way.

After posing for a group picture, the countdown to the ribbon cut took place with an excited and happy Becker snipping the ribbon on cue.

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Everyone was invited inside for a nice piece of cake and coffee. On the table with the refreshments was information about two programs that the United Way administers, the Dolly Pardon Imagination Library, providing books for school children through partnerships with local schools; and the 211 system, a referral system for community services available within the county for those in need.

Becker also provided the following historical information about the United Way of Logan County and mentioned many of these points in her brief speech prior to the ribbon cut.

On October 2, 1961, a group of Logan County community leaders including Walter Musick, Emil O. Stahlhut, Charles A. Purseglove, John T. McCullough and Marjorie B. Fuller were listed as the incorporators of the newly formed and incorporated United Fund of Lincoln.

The first United Fund Campaign was led in the fall of 1961 by Lewis C. Horton, and sought to raise $42,504 to support five agencies: the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Logan County Mental Health. The campaign was launched in November of 1961 and $33,688 was raised locally toward the stated goal with the support of businesses, volunteers and individual contributors.

The United Fund became the United Way of Lincoln, and eventually the United Way of Logan County over the next 60 years. In its time, annual campaigns have raised and distributed millions of dollars supporting non-profit organizations across the county and helping thousands of Logan County residents live a better life.

In 2021, we look back on 60 years of strengthening this community. A lot has changed in 60 years. However, there are still those in our community who need assistance, and funds raised in Logan County still stay in Logan County. The United Way of Logan County will be raising funds once again in 2021 to continue partnering in 2022 with 14 local agencies and programs (including four of the original five agencies above), along with continuing to sponsor our 2-1-1 help line and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library for Logan County.

The United Way is still about communities coming together to help those in need. Your donation is an investment in Logan County youth, seniors and families, and works to strengthen our community as donations to the United Way have done for the last 60 years.

Find out more about the work of the United Way of Logan County or give easily online at www.uwlogancountyil.org. You can also give by texting “Logancounty” to 313131.

[Nila Smith]

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