Miami - The Ottawa County United Way has been happy with the overwhelming support of area business owners and their employees’ response in helping reach the goal of $211,000. The money raised will be allocated to several non-profits that serve those in Ottawa County. Those agencies include the American Red Cross, Angel Tree Program, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the Heartland, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Ottawa Co. Health Coalition, Hearts & Hammers, The Harbor, KIDS Car Seat Program, Miami Seniors’ Center, Ministerial Alliance, Ottawa Co. Boys and Girls Club, Ottawa Co. Nutrition Coalition, Partners for Ottawa Co. Youth, Salvation Army, and the Senior Companion Program.

“We have been fortunate over the last couple years, that even in the economic downturn, we have managed to reach our goal,” said Judy Francisco, United Way President. “I believe this is a direct reflection of the leadership within our community. It has been an honor for me to serve as president this year, and I am also proud to be a part of the City of Miami’s internal United Way Campaign,” said Francisco.

For the last three years, the City of Miami has raised over $22,000 each campaign year.

There are many, many other businesses in town that have made great efforts to help those less fortunate in Ottawa County. Newell Coach has been at the forefront when it comes to raising money for the United Way. This year would be no different. Newell Coach raised $40,618 for the United Way with 87 percent of the employees giving their “fair share,” and also had four production departments participate at 100 percent. Mitch Hutson, Union President, stated that the employees at Newell Coach realize how fortunate they are to have a job with a good working environment.

“Several of us have known someone or had family members that have been helped by one of the Ottawa County United Way agencies. We are happy to give to such a vital organization,” said Hutson.

It is, and always will take a “united effort” to help those in need in this county. With state and federal budget cuts, it has been difficult for some non-profits to keep their programming going.

“By serving as the director of the Ottawa Co. United Way, it has certainly opened my eyes to the needs of the people in Ottawa County,” said Sarah Jane Johnson.

The United Way is fortunate to have businesses that allow internal United Way campaigns. The majority of the money raised is done through payroll deduction.

“We have received campaign totals from Osborn Drugs and Umicore respectably raising $4,731 and $8,160, both of which are increases from the year before.

“Several other presentations have been completed and we are waiting on totals to be reported. It is very exciting to see so many people get behind the Ottawa County United Way and raise $211,000. I look forward to putting the last sticker on each thermometer reporting we are at 100 percent of our fundraising efforts,” said Johnson. “Thank you all for participating. There is no doubt that you all have touched someone through your donation, said Johnson.”

For more information on how to donate to the Ottawa County United Way please call 918.542.8677. All donations are 100 percent tax deductible.