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Indiana Beverage Plays Host to United Way of Porter County CEO/Leadership Breakfast


On Tuesday, August 12, 2014, United Way of Porter County held a CEO/Leadership Breakfast in anticipation of this year’s Annual Fall Campaign at Indiana Beverage in Valparaiso. After an hour of breakfast and networking, Jon Leetz, President of Indiana Beverage, started the program on a positive note.

“Our mission at Indiana Beverage is to deliver the difference. We are here today to recognize, appreciate, and encourage your leadership through United Way because all of us are making a difference," stated Leetz. "By investing in United Way, it makes our communities and our region a safer, stronger, and healthier place to live and work.”

The breakfast showcased several of the different initiatives the United Way is executing to make Northwest Indiana even better than it already is. The United Way works alongside the Porter County Community Foundation and other community partners to find solutions to some of the most pressing concerns in Porter County.

Sharon Kish, President of United Way of Porter County, explained, “I believe most of you are familiar with the work of United Way. Historically, we have funded critical programs at partner agencies throughout Porter County. From prenatal care to end-of-life hospice, we have touched thousands of lives annually, for more than half a century. More recently, we have been focusing our work on the building blocks for a good life: education, health, and financial stability. Volunteers examine agency proposals during the community investment process to determine which programs make the greatest impact and improve the most lives in these three strategic areas.”

The 2014 Fall Campaign video was revealed for the first time as well. This year’s campaign co-chairs are Dr. Larry McAfee and his daughter, Brooke McAfee-Clements. The video illustrated the impact the different United Way programs have on the community. They interviewed two women who spoke about how United Way changed their lives.

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Several special guests attended the event, including State Representative Ed Soliday, Chesterton Town Manager Bernie Doyle, Porter County Sheriff David Lain, United Way of La Porte County Executive Director Kris Pate, Lake County United Way Representative Jeremy Miller, along with United Way of Porter County Board Members.

Todd Wagenblast, CFO of Indiana Beverage and President of the United Way Board, said, “United Way is one organization that focuses on the entire well-being of the Porter County Community. United Way supports programs at 38 partner agencies throughout the year, in the areas of Education, Health, and Financial Stability. Each year, we strive to do better with our campaign because we know the money raised here, stays here, improving the lives of thousands of Porter County residents. We are all in this together! As corporate leaders, we invest in our community, and United Way is a vehicle by which we can support the causes we believe in.”

All in all, the breakfast was a great event in which positive community leaders had the opportunity to share their passion for helping others in the community. We look forward to see what United Way has in store for us this fall.

Want to get involved? United Way of Porter County’s Day of Caring is August 22 and it’s not too late to sign up!

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