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Heart of West Michigan United Way 2014 campaign falls short of 2013 mark

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Heart of West Michigan United Way said it raised $ 11.6 million in its 2014 annual campaign, down nearly $ 400,000 from the 2013 campaign.

The total was announced on Monday, May 4 at an appreciation reception held in honor of annual campaign volunteers.

“When we add these contributions to the other revenues and grants United Way has received this year, we have raised over $ 13 million for the community,” said United Way spokesperson Maribeth Groen.

Groen said pledges and donations for 2014 were down because several large donor organizations downsized and several matching grant programs were halted. The local United Way group reported donations of more than $ 12 million as part of its 2013 campaign.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way honored the following groups at the reception, held at the Goei Center, 818 Butterworth Street SW.

• Integrated Architecture was chosen as the winner of the “Give Award”, which is awarded to a company with a fascinating history of generosity in the community.

“In 2013, the son of an Integrated Architecture employee underwent chemotherapy. He became the inspiration for the now annual “Happy Hatter” hat drive: a hat collection run by employees for children at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital who have lost their hair due to the effects of chemotherapy. .

“Happy Hatter has become a way for the Integrated Architecture family to support their friend and business partner, and the reader has given back to over 1,000 children each year. “

• Art Tanis, who served on the Kent County Senior Millage Review Committee for 10 years and volunteered to lead the Kent County Senior Millage Campaign in 2014, was shortlisted to receive the ‘ ‘lawyer “.

“Art then continued to work with the review committee and ensured that the funds raised by the mileage were distributed quickly and efficiently. More than 22,000 seniors have benefited from the Senior Millage through services such as meals door-to-door delivery, county-wide transportation and door-to-door services. “

• GE Aviation was selected as the winner of the “Volunteer Award”, awarded to a company that promotes and provides opportunities for employees throughout the year to volunteer their time and talents in the community.

“In 2014, GE Aviation volunteers helped complete over 100 projects, resulting in over 24,500 volunteer hours. They are longtime partners of Schools of Hope and the Kent County Tax Credit Coalition, and have also sent volunteers throughout our community to help God’s Kitchen. , Feeding America, the Boys and Girls Club, Junior Achievement, and Cherry Health – to name a few.

“They also host their own employee-led community day that engages GE employees, GE retirees and their friends and families. In 2014, this event sent over 900 volunteers to 28 one-day service projects.

Ashleigh Kearns, a pediatric nurse at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital who won $ 30,000 for a new car from Fox Motors in United Way’s first “Driven to Give” raffle, also received a game of keys for his new car.

RELATED: First Centraide Donor Finds Out She Won $ 30,000 New Car

Jim Harger covers the MLive / Grand Rapids Press business. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter Where Facebook Where Google+.



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