United Way campaign celebration draws a crowd
WILTON - Calzolaio Pasta Co. bustled Thursday night with do-gooders of the community as United Way of the Tri-Valley Area held its 36th annual Meeting and Campaign Celebration.
The event applauded the efforts of all those working to better the lives of people living in the tri-valley area.
“We are blessed and fortunate to have the community that we have,” Board President Peter Smith said.
Spotlighted at the night’s ceremony were the winners of the Gary A. Lagrange Community Impact Award. This year’s award went to employees of the Verso Androscoggin Mill. More than half of the mill’s employees contribute to UWTVA, raising nearly one third of the organization’s cash contributions.
“Verso sets a standard for us when it comes to caring for our community,” Smith said. “How can we step up the way so many Verso employees have?”
An honorable mention was awarded to Chair of Literacy Volunteers, Sally Speich. Speich contributed over 500 hours to Literacy Volunteers in the last year and enabled them to leverage $120,833 in volunteer service.
Numerous football-themed awards were given to community members, partner organizations and local businesses to acknowledge outstanding efforts. This year’s Change Challenge, one of the many fundraising events organized by UWTVA, raised over $4,000 in spare change which was then matched by Barclaycard.
Employees of Barclay won the evening’s Blitz award for collecting the largest amount of spare change for the challenge. Verso came in second while the town of Wilton came in third.
“I’ve got to tell you though,” Campaign Chair Becky Davis-Allen said, “Spruce Mountain Elementary came to PLAY.”
SME collected the fourth largest amount of change to donate to the campaign.
Many other awards were given including Most Valuable Players to those that have started new campaigns or increased their donation, the Cheerleader Award to Teacher’s Lounge Mafia, the Rookie of the Year award to Shaun Riggs and the Half-time Entertainer award to Gayle Long.
“Good communities are not just lucky, they’re made. They’re made by people like all of you,” Davis-Allen said.