Dreams Do Come True - President's Report by Ann Bax

United Way of Central Missouri would like to thank the forty-six 2017 Campaign Leadership Team members, led by Campaign Co-Chairs Jayne Dunkmann and Ryan Freeman, who made this campaign reach an unprecedented milestone to help thousands of people in our community.

Ann Bax
United Way of Central Missouri President/CPO

For those who attended the 2017 United Way of Central Missouri Campaign Kick-off event in August, you probably remember GFI’s VP of Sales, Corey Backues, throw out a bit of a challenge to the 400 people in attendance.  He tweaked our Disney-themed slogan, “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It” to “If I Can Dream It, YOU Can Do It”.  Corey’s challenge was based on the fact that the 32 Pacesetter Companies had just concluded an incredibly successful campaign, and were passing the baton to the rest of the community with the campaign already sitting at 49.888% of the $1.875 million campaign goal!  Thank you for that challenge, Corey!

We not only met the goal…we broke the epic $2 million mark, and exceeded the goal by almost $200,000 for a projected campaign total of $2,073,865!  What an incredible milestone for the United Way of Central Missouri and a huge victory for our community! 

If you ask United Way staff , or Campaign Co-Chairs Jayne Dunkmann and Ryan Freeman, they will tell you that $2 million was our team’s “unspoken” goal, but we would never say it out loud because that was bad karma.  But now we can say it, and we continue to shake our heads in happy disbelief!  How did this happen? 

It happened because two amazing Co-Chairs teamed up with a small dedicated United Way staff  and partner agency leaders; as well as an army of volunteer campaign leadership team members, marketing geniuses, and internal campaign coordinators.  These are all passionate people who believe in this community…who love this community…and believe it is up to all of us to take care of this community.  This team went out into the community to share this vision, and found out there are thousands more people out there—individuals, organizations and businesses, that share that vision.  People who want to share their passion, ideas, expertise and resources to continue to help transform the conditions in our community and help people live their best possible lives. 

Thank you.  Thank you to the 500+ businesses and thousands of individuals that participated in this campaign.  Thank you for not being afraid to roll up your sleeves to fight to make our community a better place.  You are the champions for our community because you understand there are problems and see potential and the need to do your part to provide real solutions.  We are blessed to have businesses, organizations and people like you who will get things done. 

Thanks to your support through the years the United Way of Central Missouri and our 28 partner agencies are already making a difference…we are closing the gap on hunger with our new mobile pantry that will distribute an additional 1 million pounds of food to hungry people…

….More and more children in the court system due to abuse or neglect have a volunteer to be their voice in the court room...

....At-risk children have the tools to ensure they are kindergarten ready so they can be successful in school...

....Over 650 children have a safe haven after school, a hot meal for dinner, and help with homework and character development... 

….An increased number of low-income families have access to medical, dental and behavioral healthcare...

….Teens aging out of foster care now have a strong Transitions Program to help them move successfully into adulthood. 

But we still have a lot of work to do.  Through this successful campaign we will continue to support our neighbors, friends, family and people we will never meet….seniors, babies, adults with disabilities and families torn apart by drug addiction or struggling to put food on the table; as well as children and adults who have been abused or suffering from mental illness; people who are homeless, powerless and hopeless. 

United Way is proud to accept that challenge and with all of you and this great community behind us, we are a powerful force to be reckoned with. Just look at what we’ve accomplished through this campaign, words cannot express how proud, moved and humbled I am by all of the love and support from this great community.

We have one life. To live better, we must live United!