News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 12, 2014

United for the community’s sake

Roof sitters, fuel pumpers part of United Day push

TERRE HAUTE — All it takes is one look around a classroom filled with children who are eager to listen to “Real Men Read” to realize that the United Way of the Wabash Valley makes a difference in many lives every day.

“What a great program,” said United Way board member Rick Burger about his in-class experience with the children. “I feel like by the time I’m done, I’ve adopted another family. I had a little girl with big blue eyes look up at me and ask, ‘Do you wanna be my boyfriend?’ That just melted my heart. It’s those type of things that make a difference in the life of a kid.”

Burger will be one of the community celebrities participating in the eighth annual United Day for United Way, set for 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday in the Wabash Valley.

United Day is the final blitz to raise the 2013 campaign goal of $1.85 million for those in need in the community, served by 33 community partners. The goal for United Day is $20,000, said UWWV executive director Troy Fears.

“We really try to pull it all together with this final campaign push,” Fears said.

Multiple events are planned in the counties served by UWWV. One of the most popular is the rooftop fundraiser at Baesler’s Market, at which Fears will be joined by six others who will lower a bucket from the roof to accept donations.

“I will have a bullhorn up there,” Burger said, laughing, “and if I see you, I will be asking you to give. If I see you put your head down and try to ignore me, I will yell even louder.”

Store owner Bob Baesler is a big promoter of the United Day for United Way, allowing celebrity gas pumpers to service customers, who will receive a 6-cent discount per gallon of gas. Tips will also be accepted by the pumpers, with the funds going into a United Way bucket.

The 65 pumpers will be among about 100 volunteers who are giving their time to the fundraising efforts on Friday.

Baesler’s is giving a 6-percent discount to customers on each transaction at all three grocery locations – Terre Haute, Sullivan and Linton.

“Anyone who buys groceries will get 6 percent off,” Fears explained, “plus, he is donating that 6 percent to the United Way. So what we really need is for people to go to Baesler’s Market and shop.”

Collection buckets will also be distributed at 56 business partner locations throughout the Wabash Valley to accept donations in Clay, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties.

The total amount collected on the United Day will be tallied and announced at an annual dinner, set for Feb. 3.

The community can also donate to the United Way on Friday by participating in the Dine United program at participating restaurants.

A portion of sales from patron meals will be donated to the United Way from the following businesses: Bob Evans Restaurant, Boo’s Crossroads Café, Buffalo Wild Wings, Clabber Girl Bake Shop, Delish Cafe, J Gumbo’s, Patrick’s Restaurant, Rick’s Smokehouse and Grill, Roly Poly Sandwiches, Spaghetti and Sub House, Starbucks, The Copper Bar, Wabash Valley Pizza Huts. Fliers are required for the event at Bob Evans Restaurant, and those fliers are available on the United Way website at www.uwwv.org.

For more information about the events and activities associated with United Day for United Way, visit www.uwwv.org or call the local office at 812-235-6287.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter

@TribStarLisa.

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