Sentry's United Way campaign has another record year

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Sentry Insurance and its employees once again reached the $1 million mark with their 2016 donation to the United Way of Portage County. This year’s total of $1.1 million includes employee pledges, special events fundraising and a matching donation from the Sentry Insurance Foundation.

“I want you to know that we’re happy, elated, overjoyed and thankful that Sentry - and all of you - are fighting the good fight for those who need it most, right here in Portage County,” said Sue Wilcox, United Way of Portage County Executive Director. “From the bottom of my heart, I say thank you for your compassion and for your caring.”

Sentry Insurance President, CEO and Chairman of the Board Pete McPartland presented the $1.1 million check to Wilcox Tuesday, Nov. 1, during a campaign coordinators’ celebration at the Sentry Insurance Theater.

“Every year, our campaign leadership, and our associates, come forward with new and exciting ways to reach our goal,” said McPartland, acknowledging the effort Sentry 2016 United Way Campaign Executive Sponsor Tom Davis and his executive team of Kelsey Corrigan, Aaron Deering, Paul Gwidt, and Jay Boomer put into organizing the two-week effort in September. “Their hard work laid the groundwork for another record-breaking campaign,” added McPartland.

“It was inspiring to see the enthusiasm and generosity of our associates in supporting their local United Way,” said Davis. “It made me proud to be part of Sentry’s efforts to support the community.”

The 2016 contribution was a 10-percent increase over last year’s announced total of $1 million. For the fifth year in a row, more than 90 percent of Sentry’s Stevens Point employees made a contribution to this year’s campaign.

New to this year’s campaign was a “Color Me United” walk/run, which raised more than $5,000.

Other special events organized by employees included a Fall Festival with music, games, and food. Other fundraisers included jeans days, silent auctions, and special meals including chili lunches and bake sales.

A Sentry employee and retiree golf outing at SentryWorld golf course raised nearly $20,000.

“Each year, you manage to up your game when it comes to the support of your community through United Way,” said Wilcox. “You take your caring to new levels – in new and creative ways – and you never, ever take your eye off the ball when it comes to results.”

United Way of Portage County distributes the funds it collects to 30 partner programs focused on improving the areas of education, income, health and community basics in the community.

With this year’s donation, Sentry Insurance and their employees have contributed more than $14 million to the United Way of Portage County since 2000.