HandsOn Suncoast volunteers

I’m surrounded by HandsOn Suncoast volunteers
on Rebuild Day in Campbell Park.

April is a beautiful month and gives us much to be thankful for. At United Way Suncoast, we’re thankful year ‘round for our supporters and volunteers and in April, we attempted to show them just how much we appreciate them.

Our Sarasota area office thanked our donors at an elegant reception at Michael’s on East. Nearly 150 people listened as Katie Knight, Sarasota area president, thanked them for continuing to support our mission: ensuring more children are ready to learn and succeed in school, helping more families find financial stability and supporting people through crisis. Campaign Chair Charlie Bailey III’s sincerity shone through as he recognized his campaign team and top performers, including FCCI Insurance Group, Sarasota County School Board and Publix.

Charlie’s service to United Way runs in the family. His grandfather was United Way of Sarasota board chair in 1961 and his father Dan, who was in the audience, was board chair in 1988.

During National Volunteer Week in April, we thanked our HandsOn Suncoast volunteers at a dinner held at the Wyndham Westshore in Tampa. NewsChannel 8 anchor Rod Carter, a dedicated United Way volunteer, was our MC and more than 100 attendees cheered on the volunteers, especially Vevelyn Bennett, Tax Site Volunteer Coordinator of the Year; Will Carey, Community Gardens and Hunger Volunteer of the Year; Jake LoBianco, Youth Volunteer of the Year; Cherryl Marlan, Volunteer Leader of the Year; and Diana Nunez, Volunteer of the Year.

We wrapped April up with Rebuild Day in Campbell Park. More than 150 United Way HandsOn Suncoast volunteers joined with partners Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, the City of St. Petersburg, Honeywell, HSBC, WellCare, PepsiCo and Pinellas County Job Corps to rehabilitate five homes in the Campbell Park neighborhood. United Way has worked in Campbell Park for several years to improve access to education. Rebuild Day is the beginning of a year-long effort in the area to make homes safer, healthier and more energy efficient.

Without our volunteers, without our supporters, none of this would be possible.

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Diana Baker, President and CEO

OK, you were told not to play in the street, but we have an opportunity for you to run around on a major airport, FAA controlled, jumbo jet runway. AND maybe you might win air tickets to your favorite holiday destination…

Tampa International Airport 5K Runway Fun Run

Tampa International Airport 5K Runway Fun Run

 
As if having the opportunity to run down runway 1L–19R isn’t cool enough, you can enter to win 2 roundtrip tickets on Edelweiss Air from TPA to Zurich, Switzerland or anywhere Silver Airways or Southwest Airlines flies.

The details:

  • Bring money with you to the run! Raffle tickets will be available for purchase day of event.
  • $5 each or $20 for 5
  • Cash or checks accepted. Make checks payable to “United Way Suncoast”.
  • You can also purchase raffle tickets in advance during regular business hours at the Airport:
    • Main Terminal Building Reception: third floor, behind Armstrong elevators, BLUE side or
    • Administrative Building Reception: second level, across the street from the British Airways ticket counter & Yeager elevators on the RED side
  • You choose which set of tickets you’d like to win
  • All proceeds benefit United Way Suncoast
  • You do not need to be present to win
  • Raffle is open to anyone; drawing will be at the conclusion of the 5K.

Race Day
Saturday, April 27, 2013

Race Course
Runway 1L/19R: The perfect platform for first timers and experienced athletes to reach their personal bests. 5K of wide open runway!

Registration
Sign up NOW at Active.com. Registration is limited to the first 500 runners.

Early Registration: $30
Includes a cool race shirt & the opportunity to experience Tampa International Airport like few people do!
Early registration ends Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
Day of Event Registration: $35
Check TampaAirport.com/5K for updates and availability.

Timeline

7:00 a.m. Parking gate opens
Entrance is off of Hillsborough Avenue; take Hoover Blvd. South. Follow the signs.
Free parking.
8:30 a.m. Race starts
9:30 a.m. Race conclusion
Sorry folks, but anyone not in after one hour will be picked up in a courtesy vehicle and brought back to the finish line. We need to get the runway back into operation!

Enjoy the festivities; static displays and games for the kids.

11:00 a.m. Event concludes

About the Beneficiary
There is a “new” United Way and one very different than the one our parents and grandparents knew. This visionary organization is creating programs designed to make lasting and positive change in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties with a strategic focus on education, income, neighborhoods and safety net services to people in need.

United Way Suncoast has evolved from a traditional fundraising role to that of a strategic community impact organization. They have retooled their work to create lasting change through a Community Impact Agenda. To create real and lasting change requires a strategy that does not react with short-term fixes. Rather, United Way approaches critical regional issues with long-term, solution-oriented thinking and action.

United Way works on behalf of the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. Focusing on education, income, a safety net of services and vibrant neighborhoods they provide families and individuals hope for the future.

For more information visit unitedwaysuncoast.org

Rules of the Road Runway

  1. Please register the kids to run but no strollers, skateboards, rollerblades, bikes or pets allowed.
  2. Stay on the course. Anyone deviating from the course will be removed from the race.
  3. All participant registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.

Questions?
Please call (813) 554-1499 or e-mail TPAevents@TampaAirport.com

The 5K; perfect for runners of all ages and abilities. Come out, join the fun, support United Way Suncoast and see Tampa International Airport in a whole new way!

Tampa International Airport 5K Runway Fun Run

 

Event Update
As if having the opportunity to run down runway 1L–19R isn’t cool enough.

You can enter to win 2 roundtrip tickets on Edelweiss Air from TPA to Zurich, Switzerland or anywhere Silver Airways or Southwest Airlines flies.

The details:

  • Bring money with you to the run! Raffle tickets will be available for purchase day of event.
  • $5 each or $20 for 5
  • Cash or checks accepted. Make checks payable to “United Way Suncoast”.
  • You can also purchase raffle tickets in advance during regular business hours at the Airport:
    • Main Terminal Building Reception: third floor, behind Armstrong elevators, BLUE side or
    • Administrative Building Reception: second level, across the street from the British Airways ticket counter & Yeager elevators on the RED side
  • You choose which set of tickets you’d like to win
  • All proceeds benefit United Way Suncoast
  • You do not need to be present to win
  • Raffle is open to anyone; drawing will be at the conclusion of the 5K.

Race Day
Saturday, April 27, 2013

Race Course
Runway 1L/19R: The perfect platform for first timers and experienced athletes to reach their personal bests. 5K of wide open runway!

Registration
Sign up NOW at Active.com. Registration is limited to the first 500 runners.

Early Registration: $30
Includes a cool race shirt & the opportunity to experience Tampa International Airport like few people do!
Early registration ends Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
Day of Event Registration: $35
Check TampaAirport.com/5K for updates and availability.

Timeline

7:00 a.m. Parking gate opens
Entrance is off of Hillsborough Avenue; take Hoover Blvd. South. Follow the signs.
Free parking.
8:30 a.m. Race starts
9:30 a.m. Race conclusion
Sorry folks, but anyone not in after one hour will be picked up in a courtesy vehicle and brought back to the finish line. We need to get the runway back into operation!

Enjoy the festivities; static displays and games for the kids.

11:00 a.m. Event concludes

About the Beneficiary
There is a “new” United Way and one very different than the one our parents and grandparents knew. This visionary organization is creating programs designed to make lasting and positive change in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties with a strategic focus on education, income, neighborhoods and safety net services to people in need.

United Way Suncoast has evolved from a traditional fundraising role to that of a strategic community impact organization. They have retooled their work to create lasting change through a Community Impact Agenda. To create real and lasting change requires a strategy that does not react with short-term fixes. Rather, United Way approaches critical regional issues with long-term, solution-oriented thinking and action.

United Way works on behalf of the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. Focusing on education, income, a safety net of services and vibrant neighborhoods they provide families and individuals hope for the future.

For more information visit unitedwaysuncoast.org

Rules of the Road Runway

  1. Please register the kids to run but no strollers, skateboards, rollerblades, bikes or pets allowed.
  2. Stay on the course. Anyone deviating from the course will be removed from the race.
  3. All participant registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.

Questions?
Please call (813) 554-1499 or e-mail TPAevents@TampaAirport.com

The 5K; perfect for runners of all ages and abilities. Come out, join the fun, support United Way Suncoast and see Tampa International Airport in a whole new way!

American business makes major contributions of treasure, time and talent to nonprofit organizations, and Tampa Bay is no exception. United Way Suncoast recognizes and showcases the spirit of workplace generosity with a unique and special series of awards to highlight the innovative ways companies and workers help the people of Tampa Bay through United Way’s annual Workplace Campaign.

“Throughout the Suncoast region we find some of the most generous people in Florida,” said Diana Baker, President and CEO of United Way Suncoast “and we are blessed to be able to partner with them.” Both major corporations and small businesses continue to prove their leadership in the community by helping others. Our Spirit of Suncoast, Million Dollar Donors and Community Champion awards recognize the bountiful commitments made to United Way; making life better for everyone in our community.”

The Spirit of Suncoast Awards were created to recognize companies that go above and beyond in organizing and energizing fundraising, volunteerism and community engagement at their workplaces.  Recipients demonstrate creativity, enthusiasm, innovative communications and overall participation by management and employees.

Engaging employees creates a connection between the individual worker and the community. By building awareness of the needs of the community, the critical issues facing low-income families, the challenges of education, personal income and health, the employee becomes an advocate for change and a philanthropic partner with United Way.

The Spirit of Suncoast awards are given each year to four companies whose employees exemplify the spirit of giving, advocating and volunteering. Companies are categorized by the size of their workforce.  Criteria for selection include:

  • How the companies communicate the mission, goals and accomplishments of United Way throughout their workforce;
  • How the companies show a spirit of volunteerism in the community, from serving on United Way committees to helping non-profits, schools, and other community organizations;
  • An increase in their overall investment in important programs and projects administered and managed by United Way Suncoast and our partner agencies.

The Spirit of Suncoast Award Recipients for 2012


TECH DATA

Category: 1,000 or more employees

Tech Data Corporation continues to implement new strategies to their United Way campaign which yield significant results. They are always in tune with the needs of their community and were involved in more than 42 volunteer projects this past year. They also provided funding to several major United Way events. Tech Data Corporation has partnered with United Way in many different ways including sharing their facility for meetings and training. The company provides a member for our Board of Directors and serves as advisors for new ideas and initiatives. They provide generous sponsorship for the Art of Giving Women’s Leadership event.

Total campaign results for 2012:  $408,087
38% participation by Tech Data Corporation employees


THE MOSAIC COMPANY

Category: 500 to 999 employees (in United Way Suncoast region)

Mosaic is the world’s leading producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash, with approximately 8,000 employees in eight countries including more than 3,000 in Florida. Mosaic mines phosphate rock primarily from its extensive central Florida landholdings, processes it into crop nutrients and animal feed ingredients, and then ships these finished products via rail, barge and ocean-going vessel to customers in the U.S. and agricultural regions of the world.  A devoted United Way donor, Mosaic has consistently been a leader in corporate support and volunteerism. Contributions from Mosaic’s Florida employees exceeded 2011 levels; the average employee annual gift was an exceptional $629.

Total campaign results:  $736,643.
77% participation by Mosaic employees

PCL CIVIL CONSTRUCTORS
Category: 100 to 499 employees

PCL is the 6th largest contractor in the United States, and was ranked a Top Green Contractor by Engineering News Record (ENR) magazine. PCL is currently ranked #73 on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list and is honored to have been on the list for eight consecutive years.  PCL employees recognize that coworkers, neighbors, and families all benefit from living in healthier, stronger communities, and they help to bring this about by providing financial support to United Way.  PCL was nominated by United Way for the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Philanthropy Award and the company won in their division.

Total campaign results for 2012:  $156,849
100% participation by PCL Civil Constructors employees

AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE
Category: Fewer than 100 Employees

Auto-Owners Insurance was founded in 1916 and is the 17th largest insurer in the country. They consistently receive the highest rankings in growth, financial stability and claims service. Auto-Owners Insurance believes one of their most important responsibilities is supporting the communities they serve. The company’s annual United Way campaign is one way it supports the needs of the local communities across the region.  The company took the 10 percent challenge at the campaign coordinator’s workshop and exceeded the 10 percent challenge accomplishing an increase of more than 30 percent over 2011 contributions. Auto-Owners Insurance is appreciated for their outstanding achievement of 100 percent employee participation.

Total campaign results for 2012:  $2,446
100% participation by Auto-Owners Insurance employees

Community Champion Award 2012

Helios Education Foundation

Helios Education Foundation is a philanthropic organization focused exclusively on education in Arizona and Florida. Established in 2004, the Foundation’s mission is to enrich the lives by creating opportunities for success in education. The Foundation works to improve student success across the education continuum in the areas of: Early Childhood Education; the Transition Years (Grades 5 – 12); and Postsecondary Scholarships. Helios believes education is a catalyst to change lives and strengthen communities. Their vision is for everyone to have the opportunity to attend and be prepared to succeed in postsecondary education. United Way Suncoast has received a generous educational grant to support early childhood literacy programs to help low income students read effectively and at grade level by the third grade throughout the Tampa Bay region.  Helios is recognized with the Community Champion Award for their significant influence on early literacy throughout Florida, but especially for the support and resources provided to United Way Suncoast

Million Dollar Donors 2012

United Way Suncoast salutes the companies that make major contributions of one million dollars or more to regional project and programs. The 2012 recipients of the Million Dollar Donor award are Publix Super Markets, (Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties) contributing $4,464,620 and Raymond James, contributing S1,639,000

ABOUT UNITED WAY SUNCOAST

United Way Suncoast is a local not-for-profit organization working in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota and DeSoto counties since 1924 to mobilize the resources of individuals, companies, government, and labor to achieve positive, lasting changes in the lives of people in the community. Their mission is to inspire leaders and partners and mobilize resources to make a measurable difference in the lives of people in our community.

United Way Suncoast views income, education and health as the basic building blocks of independence. By addressing all three of these issues through the human services programs it funds, United Way helps families become stronger and communities more vibrant.

United Way Suncoast helps people build better lives by helping kids graduate and helping families find paths out of poverty.  For more information on United Way visit www.UnitedWaySuncoast.org on the web.

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Pete Norden, Sarasota Area Chair; Katie Knight, Sarasota Area President; Barbarb Siemer, Al Siemer and
Diana Baker, President & CEO of United Way Suncoast.

United Way Suncoast is pleased to announce that Barbara and Al Siemer of Sarasota County, will receive the National Tocqueville Award®, United Way Worldwide’s highest recognition within the Tocqueville Society. The prestigious award will be presented at United Way Worldwide’s annual Tocqueville Leaders Gathering in Washington, D.C. on April 12, 2013.

“It is with great delight that Barbara and Al have been selected for this award,” said Diana Baker, president and CEO of United Way Suncoast.  “This is especially wonderful and honors two of our region’s great philanthropists and civic leaders.”  Pete Norden, chair of the Sarasota area board of United Way Suncoast added, “We could not be prouder of our neighbor and friends.  The Siemer family brings so much good to the world with their generosity, I cannot think of anyone more deserving.”

The National Tocqueville Society Award® recognizes outstanding examples of deep and abiding commitment to community service. Membership in the Society is granted to individuals who contribute a minimum of $10,000 annually to United Way programs and services. United Way provides guidance to United Ways in developing local Tocqueville Societies, which recognize outstanding volunteer service by presenting local Tocqueville Society Awards; involving and cultivating new influential leadership; encouraging major gifts among high-wealth individuals; and cultivating additional resources with which to strengthen their communities.

The Siemers are in grand company which includes such notable award recipients as Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan; Microsoft’s Melinda and Bill Gates; Publix Super Markets’ Carol and Barney Barnett; NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle; Secretary of Health, Education & Welfare John W. Gardner; Notre Dame University’s Father Theodore Hesbergh; American labor leader George Meany and many others including the very first recipient, Bob Hope.

“Barbara and Al Siemer’s accomplishments go far beyond their philanthropic leadership,” said Brian Gallagher, President and CEO, United Way Worldwide. “With the Siemer Institute for Family Stability, they have created a model for the future of the United Way network. The only way we can effectively address the issues that face communities around the world, at the scale we must, is by bringing them together to learn from each other and work toward a common purpose in education, income and health. The Institute demonstrates just how the power of our far-reaching network can be harnessed to advance the common good.”

The Siemer Family joined United Way of Sarasota County Tocqueville Society in 2001, and Barbara became active in the United Way Women’s Initiative.  Through the activities of the Women’s Initiative, Barbara and Al supported crisis childcare scholarship, helping a woman named Bridgette not only with childcare, but with Christmas gifts.

By late 2002, Barbara had approached United Way regarding the development of a program that would impact the mobility of students in grades K-12.  She was in the process of commissioning the “Columbus Public Schools Student Mobility Research Project” in Ohio and wanted to explore opportunities in Sarasota.  United Way was the lead agency for the Homeless Continuum of Care and prevention funding was extremely limited.

Under Barbara’s leadership, concepts and outcomes were drafted and an active partnership with the Sarasota County Schools was pursued.  Initial visits were made to the Superintendent and implementation models were explored.  The Superintendent directed school social workers to begin discussion on identification of potential students.  United Way, with Barbara’s guidance, chose the “Single Lead Implementing Agency” model and selected Jewish Family & Children’s Service, Sarasota – Manatee, Inc.  to be that lead agency in 2003.

By June 2, 2003, a six month outline of operational/administrative expenditures for the Sarasota County Prevention of Homeless Program was presented to the Siemer Family with the understanding that as a challenge grant, matching dollars would need to be raised by the United Way for the financial assistance portion of the program.  Barbara answered with the first $50,000 grant on June 26, 2003 and the program began.

Throughout 2003, the Siemer Family Foundation provided dedicated funding for cost effective, integrated case management and emergency financial assistance to improve children’s academic success by decreasing family mobility and supporting homeless prevention.

The Siemer Family Foundation continues to provide a discretionary $10,000 gift each year in addition to the $50,000 funding for the Building Strong Families Program (formerly the Sarasota County Prevention of Homeless Program). Their gift has inspired other Tocqueville families to increase their giving to United Way, by investing in Building Strong Families as well as other programs.

In 2008, Barbara and Al Siemer joined the Tocqueville Society Million Dollar Roundtable.  Their gifts to Columbus, Ohio and Sarasota, Florida have funded and leveraged long-lasting changes by addressing the underlying causes impacting at-risk children and their families.  Their leadership and future plans will create opportunities for a better life throughout Florida.

During the past ten years, integration and maximization of limited resources to support homeless prevention have been leveraged by the Siemer family’s generosity.  In addition, their positive influence built strong collaborative partnerships with numerous agencies, funders and in-kind services.

In May 2009, United Way, with Barbara and Al, invited several other Florida communities to consider implementing a localized version of Building Strong Families with the ultimate same two outcomes: improve children’s academic success by decreasing family mobility and supporting homeless prevention.  Each of the communities approached joined and the Siemer moved to spread the success across the country with Ohio communities as the next expansion.

The Siemer Institute for Family Stability was founded in Columbus, Ohio, and today the program is in 22 communities with eight more to be established by the third quarter of 2013 and seven additional communities by the end of 2013 — helping thousands of children and families.

In 1986, the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of United Way Suncoast – Sarasota Area was founded by eight outstanding donors and joined as a Member of the National Society under the leadership of Jane Cook and Alex and Betty Schoenbaum.  The Sarasota Area Society has won national awards in 2000, 2004 and 2007 and hosted the annual National de Tocqueville Society meeting in 2001.

Barb and Al Siemer own Desco Corporation, a holding corporation for several manufacturing companies in the United States and Europe. Desco also includes Desco Capital Partners, which makes venture capital investments. A graduate of Muskingum College, Mrs. Siemer began her career as a high school English teacher. She is an active board member with I KNOW I CAN and the Columbus Museum of Art. Mr. Siemer is a graduate of John Carroll University. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in foreign trade from the University of Arizona (Thunderbird) and a juris doctor degree from Cleveland Marshall Law School.

The purpose of the Siemer Family Foundation is to provide funding for those institutions and organizations whose purpose is to affect continuing and long-term benefits for societal, educational, and cultural needs of the community.  The Foundation’s goal is to support those organizations which provide solutions for social problems, education and/or training to enable young people to be self-supporting, and support for civic and cultural organizations which enhance the quality of life in this or other communities.  The Siemer Family Foundation was established in 1997 and has focused the majority of its grantmaking in the area of education.

United Way Suncoast is a local not-for-profit organization working in DeSoto, Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties since 1924 to mobilize the resources of individuals, companies, government, and labor to achieve positive, lasting changes in the lives of people in the community. The Suncoast  mission is to inspire leaders and partners and mobilize resources to make a measurable difference in the lives of people in our community.

United Way Suncoast views income, education and health as the basic building blocks of independence. By addressing all three of these issues through the human services programs it funds, United Way helps families become stronger and communities more vibrant.  United Way Suncoast helps people build better lives by helping kids graduate and helping families find paths out of poverty.  For more information on United Way visit http://www.UnitedWaySuncoast.org on the web.

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Beside me are Chief Development Officer Afira DeVries and United Way Suncoast Board Chair Gary Sasso. Both are instrumental in our strategic planning.

An historic meeting took place late last month. It was the first strategic planning session with the Suncoast, Tampa Bay area and Sarasota area board members all in the same room, working to move our organization forward. 

Our staff worked long and hard to pull together information about our community and data about the United Way community impact agenda and resources. Board members shared their expectations and we broke into smaller groups to discuss and elevate key observations and questions. We wrapped up the morning with an organizational analysis of our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. 

Spoiler alert: this is a longer message than usual but it only scratches the surface of the data, findings and conclusions we discussed. 

Some key statistics:

  • Nearly 19 percent of our community’s residents live in poverty. 
  • 71 percent of Florida’s prison inmates read at a 6th grade level. 
  • Families who participate in a banking system decreased by 1.3 percent between 2009 and 2012. 
  • Unemployment has increased from 4.2 percent in 2007 to 10.9 percent in 2011. 
  • Calls to 2-1-1 have risen 14 percent since 2008. 

We have made progress.

  • In Sarasota, since 2008 the number of at-risk children in early learning programs increased from 38 to 62 percent. 
  • In Tampa Bay, since 2008 more than 4,000 children attended Summer Care to stop summer learning loss. 
  • In 2011, we prepared a total of 12,874 tax returns for free, generating $16.3 million in refunds. 
  • 83 percent of financial education students use strategies that help them achieve financial stability. 
  • More than 90 percent of families receiving assistance through the Siemer Family Stability initiative have averted homelessness, becoming financially stable and keeping children in their school of origin. 
  • Over the last five years our investments have kept 143 seniors in their homes through foreclosure prevention services. 
  • Our neighborhood work continues to grow, serving residents in Sulphur Springs and Potter in Hillsborough and North Greenwood and Campbell Park in Pinellas. 

Observations:

  • We can pay now or pay later. We can make sure children get a good start or we can fund our prison system. 
  • Quality early education is a traditional strength of United Way and a good foundation for future work. 
  • Summer Care is a winning strategy. 
  • Partner agencies are key to reaching the right people with the right programs. 
  • The economic recession demanded more resources than we had planned, but raised awareness of hidden issues such as food insecurity. 

Our session was held at Collaborative Labs at St. Petersburg College. My thanks go to them and to all the board members who sacrificed their time to advance the common good.

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Diana Baker, President and CEO

Twitter Updates

Contact Us

UNITED WAY SUNCOAST
5201 W. Kennedy Blvd.,
Suite 600 Tampa, FL 33609
Ph. (813) 274-0900
Fax. (813) 228-9549

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