Sentry's United Way campaign surpasses $1 million again

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Sentry Insurance and its employees continued their million dollar campaigns with their 2017 donation to the United Way of Portage County. This year’s total of $1.15 million includes employee pledges, special events fundraising and a matching donation from the Sentry Insurance Foundation.

“Thank you – to each and every one of you – and to Sentry Insurance, for choosing to LIVE UNITED,” said Sue Wilcox, United Way of Portage County Executive Director. “I hope you are as proud of yourselves as we are proud of you and your commitment to this great community."

Sentry Insurance Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO Pete McPartland presented the $1.15 million check to Wilcox Tuesday, Oct. 31, during a campaign coordinators’ celebration at the Sentry Insurance Theater.

“We love the energy and enthusiasm our associates have for the United Way campaign,” said McPartland, acknowledging the effort Sentry 2017 United Way Campaign Executive Sponsor Patrick Schultz and his executive team of Jeremy Kleifgen, Tarrah Baars, Paul Gwidt, Mike Schimke, and Matt Stoss put into organizing the two-week effort in September. “It starts with a company that has done well, with leadership and associates who love their work and extend themselves into their communities,” added McPartland.

“Our success is a direct reflection of the time and effort of our executive team, along with all of the United Way volunteers,” said Schultz. “It’s truly amazing how everyone comes together in a short period of time to accomplish so much good for our communities.”

The 2017 contribution was a $50,000 increase over last year’s announced total of $1.1 million. For the sixth year in a row, more than 90 percent of Sentry’s Stevens Point employees contributed to this year’s campaign.

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 more than $20,000.

Wilcox said that Sentry’s commitment to United Way is a direct reflection of the entire community. “Ours is a community that looks out for one another – one that steps up and offers a hand up to those around us in need,” she said.

United Way of Portage County distributes the funds it collects to 31 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 $15 million to United Way of Portage County since 2000. This year's donation also brings the overall campaign total to more than 60 percent of its $2.85 million goal.