United Way announces record-smashing campaign total


It was another record-breaking year for the Portage County community, as it came together and raised $2,932,411 for United Way of Portage County’s 2016 Campaign.

This total was revealed at the United Way Victory Celebration Wednesday, Dec. 7, at SentryWorld in Stevens Point.

The amount surpasses this year’s goal of $2.83 million, and tops last year’s announced amount of $2,828,280. “To speak from the heart, you are amazing,” said Sue Wilcox, United Way of Portage County Executive Director. “There is no place like Portage County and we are blessed to be among friends here and family. This year has been a remarkable year again.”

This year’s Campaign Drive Chairs – the Hofmeister/Okray family, owners of Spectra Print in Stevens Point – were on hand at the Victory Celebration to talk about their experiences and thank all who helped. Eric Hofmeister said this year’s campaign was an eye-opening experience. “We truly live in a very talented and generous community,” he said. “The programs and initiatives United Way helps fund are truly making a difference right here in Portage County.”

In addition to the campaign total reveal, the Victory Celebration included the awarding of the TRAVEL UNITED Sweepstakes prizes. A 2017 vehicle donated by Scaffidi Motors was awarded to Dennis Felts, Stevens Point, during a “game-show”-like portion of the event in which event emcee Steve Martin had three finalists selects keys to open a door that contained their prize. Felts works at Sentry Insurance. He and his wife of 36 years, Judy, have two sons, one daughter, and four grandchildren.

The other two finalists were Celeste Lutgen, Stevens Point, who won a Virtual Travel Package containing a big screen TV, Playstation 4, and Playstation VR donated by Skyward, Inc.; and Ronald Dufresne, Stevens Point, who won a $1,000 Amtrak gift certificate and a $500 Visa card donated by Simplicity Credit Union and Delta Dental of Wisconsin.

Representatives from one of United Way of Portage County’s funded programs, the CAP Services Hmong UPLIFT Program, helped present the final campaign numbers and talked about how their program is able to help county residents thanks to United Way funding.

United Way of Portage County’s mission is to bring people and resources together to achieve measurable results that improve people’s lives and strengthen the community. It does so by focusing on the building blocks for a better life – education, income, health, and community basics. To learn more, visit www.unitedwaypoco.org.