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There's a new Guinness World Record holder in Summit County.
The United Way of Summit County was recognized for holding the largest cornhole tournament with a total of 268 participants at their kickoff event with Red Cross on September 12 at Lock 3 Park. The previous record was 250 participants.
Michael Gaffney, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, says he was happy to hear that all the hard work paid off in the end.
"You know, what we did was pretty impressive and hard to do. So, if someone wants to try and beat it, I say, 'go for it,' but we'll determine whether that's going to be our campaign kickoff event this fall in the the next few weeks or so," said Gaffney.
((United Way Of Summit County Press Release)) United Way of Summit County received notification that the 2012 United Way/Red Cross Campaign Kickoff event held on September 12th at Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron has been recognized as the Guinness World Records ‘Largest Cornhole Tournament.’
A total of 268 people participated in the cornhole tournament that day, surpassing the previous record of 250 participants.
According to Michael Gaffney, United Way of Summit County Vice President of Marketing, “An event of this magnitude was only possible with the hard work and dedication of an outstanding planning committee consisting of United Way staff members and our wonderful volunteers. The logistics of such an event – from borrowing and setting up so many cornhole boards, coordinating all those participants and getting them to the right game site, and serving as officials for the games – could have been overwhelming. But our talented committee ensured the event ran as smoothly as could be.”
The members planning committee for the Kickoff/Cornhole tournament were: Rich Hoselton, Downtown Akron Partnership; Rachel Roukey, City of Akron; Mike Taylor, American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties; Eliza Williams of Access, Inc,; and from United Way, Janet Fashbaugh, Michael Gaffney and Andi Reed.
Bob Kulinski, President of United Way of Summit County, said, "We are proud and delighted that our 2012 United Way/Red Cross Campaign Kickoff/Cornhole Tournament qualified as a Guinness World Record! This recognition is a fitting conclusion to what will be a historic, record-setting campaign in which over thirty thousand people contributed money or volunteered to make our community a great place to live, work and raise our families. We are blessed to live in the most philanthropic and collaborative county in Ohio."
United Way of Summit County encourages everyone to LIVE UNITED. Each of us has the power to improve lives and advance the common good when we give, advocate and volunteer. For more information on how to give now, on programs and services in our community, or to volunteer, call your United Way of Summit County at (330) 762-7601, visit our website at www.uwsummit.org, or come to our offices at 90 N. Prospect St., Akron, Ohio.
Volunteers are mobilized throughout Summit County for today's United Way of Summit County Day of Action.
About 1,100 volunteers from several dozen companies will spend the day away from work and instead helping more than 60 nonprofit organizations.
A lot of people associate United Way with fundraising. After all, the organization does dedicate a lot of time to raising money to supplement dozens of social service agencies in Summit County. Gaffney, however, says it's important to know that providing volunteers is another way they can help.
"One of the neat things that we've found through Day of Action is people discover a nonprofit that maybe they didn't know much about and they become very enamored of it and then volunteer throughout the rest of the year," said United Way's Michael Gaffney.
Gaffney says the volunteers do whatever is needed, but projects often focus on landscaping, painting or filing.
United Way of Summit County holds a database to match volunteers in the area with agencies that are looking for extra help. Gaffney says you can request the type of volunteer work you want to do, the general geographic location and how often you can help and United Way will find a match.
Summit County's United Way campaign hit it's mark for the 2011-12 campaign. Agency officials say the drive exceeded last year's $11 and a quarter million dollars by raising more than $11 million 350 thousand dollars.
The Akron-based United Way says it averaged a 7.4 percent increase in donations over the past ten years, while similar campaigns in other Ohio big-cities were either down or flat. Goodyear and FirstEnergy led the way as top company-based contributions.
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(United Way of Summit County) United Way/Red Cross Campaign in Summit County has been completed, and campaign staff and volunteers are pleased to report that the generous people of our community have exceed the aggressive goal of $11,250,000 set last summer.
Volunteer Campaign Chair Brian Moore, a partner in the law firm Roetzel & Andress, has announced that the final campaign total raised is $11,350,225.
“We are so grateful to all the donors who made surpassing our goal possible,” said Moore. “It confirms that the heart and soul of our community are second to none. What a privilege it’s been to be a part of the United Way team for this campaign.”
Throughout the next ten years, United Way will move toward a more focused approach to addressing community-level issues, by showing measurable progress in the areas of education, income and health, the building blocks for a good life.
United Way of Summit County Senior Vice President Katie S. Rennard said, “The long-term and short-term results of our United Way campaigns here in Summit County exceed the results of the other big cities in Ohio. Between 2000 and 2010, our campaigns were up 7.4%, while the other five big cities in the state were all down for the same time frame. And our growth from 2010 to 2011 was another 1.5%. I believe that it’s also telling to note that the 183 members of the United Way of Summit County Tocqueville Society – denoting those who contribute $10,000 or more annually – far surpasses the Tocqueville membership in similar-sized Ohio communities.
“Summit County’s two largest United Way corporate campaigns were organized and run by The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company with $1.37 million and FirstEnergy Corp. with $1.18 million. These companies are critical to the campaign’s success in Summit County. Goodyear’s increase - $82,928 - was the largest year-over-year increase in the entire campaign. GOJO Industries, Inc., The University of Akron, Myers Industries, Inc., State & Federal Communications, Inc., and Roetzel & Andress are just some of the 240 organizations that experienced increased giving this year,” Rennard continued.
“Another highlight of the successful campaign was the contributions from new campaigns totaling more than $88,000. Among the largest new campaigns were the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Austen Bioinnovation Institute, CB Richard Ellis, and a generous first-time gift from the Barberton Community Foundation.”
Total dollars allocated and designated to programs and agencies in Summit County will be announced on April 20, 2012.
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