August 31, 2010

United Way kicks off 2010 campaign

United Way of Racine County kicked off its 2010 campaign Tuesday at Starbuck Middle School in Racine.  The lunch-time event drew several community leaders including County Executive Bill McReynolds, Mayor John Dickert and Racine Unified Superintendent James Shaw. United Way hopes to raise $5.1 million this year to support dozens of local helping organizations. 

The chairman of this year's campaign in John Erskine of Racine Federated. It's Erskine's second time as chairman of a local United Way campaign, a feat United Way Executive Director Dave Maurer said was quite rare. Erskine asked everyone in attendance to do "one more thing" this year to help the United Way meet its goal. 

School Board President Bill Van Atta gave the keynote address. Van Atta noted the United Way helps several local nonprofits make a difference in the lives of families and children, particularly when it comes to education. He described education as "the keystone in life's quality equation" and noted most people in the room Tuesday had won "life's lottery." He encouraged everyone to help others who are less fortunate by donating both money and time to local organizations. 

United Way Board Chairman Francisco Sanchez offered a welcome to the audience, and Starbuck Middle School Principal Sandra Brand.  

Here's photos from a great event: 

More than 100 people attended the kickoff in the lunch room at Starbuck Middle School. 

Tuesday's kickoff featured a sculpture competition. Businesses participating in this year's campaign sent teams to build sculptures out of school supplies. They could use any materials they wanted, but had to leave them in usable condition. This team from Educators Credit Union built a school.

Modine Manufacturing sent a team of engineers to build an elaborate design out of pens, pencils and rulers. 
The impressive design won the audience award for best sculpture. 

A close-up of Modine's handy work.

Journal Times' employees build a horse out of pencils erasers and other supplies. (That's JT photographer Greg Shaver in the background.)

Eleven teams participated in the competition. 

Shaw addressed the audience and thanked the community for partnering with Racine's local schools.

Judges selected this as the winning sculpture. (Full disclosure: I was one of two judges, along with Tim Etes of WRJN/WEZY.)

Construction of one of the winning scupltures.

Participants in the school supply sculpture contest included: Educators Credit Union, Express Personnel, Johnson Outdoors, O&H Bakery, Modine, Focus on Community, Twin Disc, Racine County, M&I Bank, The Journal Times and Pioneer Products and Petersen Machine. 

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