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United Way celebrates kindness and generosity of the community

| February 16, 2017
AK Steel received the top giver award during United Way of Coshocton County’s annual breakfast meeting on Feb. 16 at Coshocton Village Inn & Suites. Pictured from left are Dick Bechtol, Troy Balo, Sue Tubbs, Debbie Pennybaker, Tim Rohr and Kurt Knicely. Mark Fortune | Beacon

AK Steel received the top giver award during United Way of Coshocton County’s annual breakfast meeting on Feb. 16 at Coshocton Village Inn & Suites. Pictured from left are Dick Bechtol, Troy Balo, Sue Tubbs, Debbie Pennybaker, Tim Rohr and Kurt Knicely. Mark Fortune | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Kind and caring people make United Way work. That’s also exactly what helped AK Steel earn the top giver award for United Way of Coshocton County’s annual campaign.

“Our employees were the key for us getting this award,” said Debbie Pennybaker, human resources representative for AK Steel. “We wouldn’t be able to do this without them continuing to pledge and support our community and the United Way campaign.”

The award was presented to AK Steel during United Way’s annual breakfast meeting held Feb. 16 at Coshocton Village Inn & Suites.

AK Steel was responsible for 16 percent of all money raised during United Way’s 2016/2017 campaign with a total donation of $53,365. Since 2000, the company and its employees have raised more than $600,000 in support of United Way and its partner agencies.

Kraft Heinz and McWane Ductile also received special recognition for their contribution to the campaign.

“So often an extraordinary situation occurs that is not covered by our other awards, so we have decided to add a director’s award that would properly recognize these situations,” said Lyn Mizer, executive director of United Way. “Kraft Heinz has grown by leaps and bounds for which we are very proud of them, but more importantly our local Kraft Heinz has shown extraordinary support for our United Way campaign and we would like to express our sincere appreciation for that. The other award goes to McWane Ductile for a 40 percent increase over last year’s campaign.”

United Way had a goal this year of $375,000 and at the time of the breakfast meeting had reached 89 percent of that with $333,759.38 in donations being collected. Everyone who contributed to that total was recognized at the meeting and presented with awards for their donations and level of employee participation. Before these awards were presented Mizer thanked the campaign division chairs and company campaign managers for gathering donations from their fellow employees and other businesses in their field.

“Without you we wouldn’t be able to raise the money we do,” she said.

Funds raised from United Way’s annual campaign help support its 18 community partners.

“These people (from these agencies) are the heart and soul of what we do,” Mizer said. “They work tirelessly for our community and we are grateful for them. We believe in their missions and will continue to support them as best as we can.”

One of the agencies United Way supports is the Coshocton County Handicapped Society and Mizer invited the Angle family to share about their experiences with this organization.

“The community has been so good to us that we wanted to give back to it,” said Tim Angle, who attended the meeting with his wife Candy and their sons.

He explained that they first got involved after he was in an auto accident five years ago.

“The older guys started retiring so I became a trustee and now help take care of the building,” Tim said. “The boys help out too and do things like sweep and help paint.”

He is extremely proud that his children see the importance of volunteering and that United Way is there to help provide funds to keep the handicapped society going.

“We wouldn’t be around without United Way and the donations that come from you kind-hearted people,” Tim said. “I believe that with everyone’s help United Way will live forever.”

Others who help keep United Way going, like the board members and officers, and last year’s corporate campaign chair, COTC, were thanked for their donations of time, money and energy.

“We celebrated our 45th anniversary in 2016 and felt it was really important to step up our level of engagement,” said Teri Holder from COTC. “United Way was the perfect partner to help us do that and it was our privilege to be their corporate sponsor.”

Filling the corporate sponsor role for United Way’s 2017/2018 campaign will be Century National Bank, who was represented by Bob Bigrigg and Beccy Porteus.

“Century National Bank has been involved in United Way for a number of years and is a firm supporter of what it does for the community,” Porteus said. “This coincides with the building of our new bank and is a fitting way to give back to the community that has always supported us.”

In addition to providing funding for its partner agencies, United Way also supports several community impact initiatives that include: The Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Crunch for Health, 2-1-1, free tax preparation, and the Family Wize Prescription program.

“Together as a group we can do great things,” Mizer said.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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