News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 5, 2013

United Way campaign surpasses $1.9M

Organization continues to expand its reach, 2012 campaign chairwoman Claudia Tanoos says

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — For a third year in a row, the United Way of the Wabash Valley surpassed its annual fundraising goal, collecting more than $1.9 million, topping its goal of $1.86 million, organization officials announced Monday night.

At its annual meeting and dinner at Hulman Center, the United Way used a line of children holding large cards to display the final amount raised. By accident or design, the child holding the “9” in $1.9 million had the card upside down, giving a momentary impression that the goal had not been reached.

The card was soon righted, showing the final total to be $1,920,053.

“We live in such a supportive community,” said Troy Fears, executive director of the UWWV.

The United Way uses its annual campaign fundraiser to provide money for dozens of charitable agencies in the Wabash Valley, including the American Red Cross Wabash Valley Chapter, Area 7 Agency on Aging and Disabled, Catholic Charities, Clay County Emergency Food Pantry, Four Rivers Sullivan County, Happiness Bag, Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army and United Cerebral Palsy.

Claudia Tanoos, chairwoman of the 2012 campaign, said the United Way continued to expand its reach throughout the Wabash Valley in the past year, offering new events in Sullivan, Vermillion, Clay, Vigo and Parke counties in Indiana and Clark County in Illinois.

“This is the impact our United Way volunteers are making on the Wabash Valley,” Tanoos said.

For outstanding volunteer service in 2012, the United Way honored Tom and Laurice Newlin, who helped raise more than $400,000 in “leadership” donations, which are contributions of at least $500.

The organization also recognized Richard Payonk, chairman of the United Way’s community impact committee, which determines funding for United Way agencies.

“They did a great job,” Fears said.

Surpassing the 2012 goal was helped along by two great incentives, Fears said. In one case, donations of new money — over past year’s contributions — resulted in chances to win a new car. The winner, William Trinler of Seelyville, was a long-time donor to the United Way.

The other incentive in 2012 was a matching grant from the Indiana Association of United Ways, Fears said.

“We have a community that lives united,” said Sally Zuel, outgoing board president, during her remarks at the annual meeting. “Everyone joins together to help our community. That’s what living united means.”

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@