The United Way of La Porte County: Giving in Many, Many Ways

Witnessing the accelerating progress of a selfless driving force can leave you with warm solace in regards to humanity. One of the best things about my job is that I see everyday the good things that people do, and then I get to share it with you, readers. I see their efforts. I see their passion. I see their excitement and its contagious nature. One person moving a mountain is inspiring. One person, plus one person, plus one person, then eventually leading to plus 100 persons, and then 1000 and beyond moving many mountains together is exhilarating. The United Ways of the world are making great changes everywhere and everyday. More often then not, their work goes unnoticed. But the people that are a part of this great organization don’t do what they do to get noticed.

That’s where we come in.

It’s our job, schtick, motivation, mission, creed, at Ideas in Motion Media to find LIFE –find the Good news that is out there and point a gigantic spotlight on it. We did that on Thursday morning at the Blue Chip Casino, Hotel, and Spa at the United Way of La Porte County 2013 Campaign Kickoff Breakfast. Some exciting things took place in that hour and a half at the Stardust Event Center.

The morning started out with a great breakfast buffet that the kitchen staff at the Blue Chip whipped up. Guests filled their plates and socialized happily around large round tables that dotted the banquet room floor.

Things got started with Andy Neal, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the United Way of La Porte County, at the podium.

“We’re very excited about this fall’s campaign,” Neal said. “As you know, last year those of you that joined us or took part in the campaign had a chance to see our video which was produced by Wade Breitzke of 27 Entertainment. We’re very excited to see his work again this year.”

Breitzke was recently recognized as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the State of Indiana, so there is no doubt that he and his company create great work.

Dave Sisk was next to speak. Sisk is the Manager of Community Engagement for the United Way of La Porte County and one of the bigger driving forces behind their campaign, and he enthusiastically puts his heart and soul into the task.

“We spent months and months talking about this campaign video,” Sisk said. “And it is so cool that Wade is able to take our stuff… and bring the United Way message home.”

“Last year we talked bout how the dollars work around the clock, and this year we’re talking about how the dollars are working year round in all four seasons and how great the United Way is as effectively seeking the appropriate causes that help the need in the community,” Breitzke said. When asked about how he felt when they asked him to make this year’s campaign video, he added, “It was defiantly an honor. A little overwhelming, but mostly it’s really exciting to be part of such a great organization.”

Check out the new 2013 Campaign Video which is brought to you by We Create Media, the sister company to 27 Entertainment!

Kris Pate, Executive Director for the United Way of La Porte County, was then introduced and she spoke of the resaon that United Way exists.

“At United Way, our work always begins and is centered around a mission and our mission to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community –that’s how we do it. That’s how we improve lives…we see examples of that all around us and we see them so frequently. We saw it here yesterday. About 138 people came together for the ‘Miracle at Mount Baldy’ to save a little boy’s life,” Pate said. “So this is the ‘Why’ of why United Way exists. It think it’s part of our mission to help people understand United Way…we know that there is great power here. There’s great caring here.”

Pate then introduced the Campaign Co-Chairs: Charlie Roberts -Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager for Horizon Bank, and Neil Mangus -Director of Marketing for IU Health La Porte. Their job is to communicate the mission and impact of the United Way to the communities. They share the needs of the organization and motivate people to donate and get involved. You could say that Roberts and Mangus are getting the community to donate momentum to the United Way, and that keeps the organization moving and progressing.

“Last year we were able to raise over $1,000,000 in our community to make a difference,” Roberts said. “That is a great feat for our community. Now this year we are looking to raise over $1,002, 013. It’s a great number…today we have the opportunity to do more, to raise more, to build more in our community.”

A mention must be made for Kesha Pate, Kris Pate's daughter, as she is volunteering her time to help with the marketing for the United Way of La Porte County. She was at the event snapping away with her camera and diligently working on behalf of the United Way.

The morning ended with a special presentation for the NWI Leaders Young Professional Network. They recently hosted an awesome event called the Midwest Brewers Brawl that took place in Washington Park in Michigan City. Local breweries got together for a friendly competition. Guests bought tickets, tasted and judged the different beers that were offered and chose a winner. The money that the event generated went to the Minds in Motion program which was put in the schools through the United Way of La Porte County that integrates the mind and body by helping young kids be successful in school socially, athletically and academically.

The group presented a large check for $7,000 to the United Way so it could be used right away in the local schools and the kids could get the help and support that they need.

All of this is great! And I mean great in the sense of quality AND quantity. So many positive things have taken place, all thanks to the efforts of the United Way of La Porte County.

Click here to view more photos!

Want to get involved? Yes, you do. Click here to make it happen!