Sentry raises $1.2 million for United Way


For the fourth consecutive year, Sentry Insurance and its employees topped a million dollars in their campaign for the United Way of Portage County. This year’s total of $1.2 million—announced Thursday, Nov. 1, at an event in the Sentry Theater—includes employee pledges, special events fundraising, and a matching donation from the Sentry Insurance Foundation.

“What you do is special. Individuals and businesses throughout this community recognize your kindness—and it is the envy of other United Ways,” said Sue Wilcox, United Way of Portage County Executive Director, to Sentry associates attending the event. “Your record of creativity, hard work, fun, and compassion has built a reputation that each of you should be proud of.”

Sentry Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO Pete McPartland presented a $1.2 million check Thursday to Wilcox during a campaign coordinators’ celebration at the Sentry Theater.

“Each year, our associates pour their energy and enthusiasm into the United Way campaign,” said McPartland, acknowledging the effort that Sentry United Way Campaign Executive Sponsor Aaron Deering and his 2018 executive team of Charlie Hoyord, Kelly Kovatch, Carrie Dreger, Jeff Cole, and Dustin Loutsenhizer put into organizing the two-week campaign in September. “This deep well of support for the United Way begins with a company that’s thriving, with leadership and associates who are passionate about their work and who take to heart what they can do for their communities.”

Said Deering, “This year’s results are a direct reflection of the hard work and planning of our executive team, plus all the United Way volunteers. It’s amazing to see the creative ways we all come together in a short period of time to do so much good for the community.”

Special events organized by employees included a Fall Festival with music, games, and food. Other fundraisers included jeans days, silent auctions, a pop-up mini golf tournament of champions, trivia contest, and special meals including chili lunches and bake sales.

A Sentry employee and retiree golf outing at SentryWorld Golf Course raised more than $20,000.

The 2018 contribution was a $50,000 increase over last year’s $1.15 million total. For the seventh year in a row, more than 90 percent of the company’s Stevens Point employees contributed to the campaign.

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 county.

“Your kindness shines bright here in Portage County,” said Wilcox. “It’s impossible to miss. Thank you for sharing it with those in our community who need it the most.”

The annual Sentry United Way campaign first topped $1 million in 2015. With this year’s donation, Sentry Insurance and their employees have contributed more than $16 million to the United Way of Portage County since 2000.