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United Way Suncoast had the privilege of being involved in the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s first Corporate Philanthropy awards. So many companies in our region give back to the community in big ways and they deserved to be recognized. These awards were designed to do just that, spotlight the many corporate-sanctioned giving and volunteer programs that stand out in the Tampa Bay community.

Nearly 200 companies in the area submitted applications and the top 35 gathered at a luncheon at the A La Carte Pavilion in December. The companies were broken down into three categories based on number of employees and the top three companies in each category were presented with an award at the luncheon. A number of United Way supporters received awards including PCL Civil Constructors, Raymond James Financial and The Mosaic Company. The Tampa Bay Business Journal also presented the top award, Benefactor of the Year, to the Covelli Family Limited Partnership/Panera Bread Franchise for their extensive work in the community.

Listening to all of the different non-profits that are supported and work that is being done in our community, I was proud to be in a room with such giving companies and individuals. Our community is blessed to have so many companies that are invested in corporate philanthropy. Because of their support, United Way and other non-profits are able to continue helping individuals and families and changing the story for so many in our community.

A Memorial

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United Way lost a long-time friend, colleague, supporter, and volunteer last month. Bill McBride passed away on Saturday, December 22, after suffering a heart attack. His wife, Alex Sink, notified us of his death and we have communicated with the family to express our sadness at the loss of a wonderful man, husband, and father.

Bill served our United Way most notably as Board Chair, Campaign Chair, Tocqueville Growth Chair, and champion for our Tocqueville Legacy (Planned Giving) Circle. I had the privilege to work closely with Bill over the years and know that he loved and served with passion – his family, his community, his country, his profession, and his United Way. Bill often worked behind the scenes on our behalf, using his many contacts and relationships to open doors of opportunity to talk about our work and gain support from others.  He was a leader – he never asked others to do anything he wasn’t willing to do himself. He was also a good sport – wearing his United Way campaign t-shirt for weeks on end trying to break the $10M mark so long ago.

I, along with many others, will miss Bill. His passing leaves a definite void in our lives and in the life of our community (and beyond).  Our thoughts and prayers are with Alex, their children, and the entire family as they grieve the loss of this wonderful man.

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Diana Baker, President and CEO

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

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