United Way of Trumbull County Highlights Accomplishments

NILES, Ohio – United Way of Trumbull County focused on three words over the past year: kids, collaboration and fundraising.

“We support kids and students through programs we fund and through our United 4 Kids initiative,” Christine Cope, president and CEO, said at the agency’s annual meeting Thursday at the Eastwood Events Centre.

Nothing can be done without collaboration, and fundraising supports the initiatives.

A highlight for the agency was taking volunteers back into the Warren City Schools to read to students in March. That’s something it hadn’t done since before the pandemic, Cope said. 

The agency also helped Bristol Elementary School get a new pantry up and running and provided partial funding for a mobile food pantry run by Warren City Schools.

Another initiative involves Warren and the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library.

“We have a new story walk in the Perkins Park area,” Cope said.

The agency will continue initiatives for children this year.

She said the agency’s goal was to raise $100,000 through event sponsorships and other efforts, outside of the campaign and grants. “We were very close, raising over $95,000,” she said. “We ended the year with a strong push thanks to community foundations that provided a generous match for funds we raised.”

Tim Schaffner holds his Legacy Award at Thursday’s event.

The board also stepped up, helping to raise more than $20,000, she said.

“We ended the year with the greatest gift of all,” Cope said. “It meant so much to us with the approval of a $275,000 Trumbull County [American Rescue Plan] grant for our United 4 Kids Initiative, thanks to [county Commissioners] Denny Malloy and Mauro Cantalemessa.”

For 2023, United Way of Trumbull County raised $800,000 to be invested back into the community.

The agency also recognized several individuals, organizations and businesses with awards at the annual meeting.

The awards and recipients are:

  • Give Award: 717 Credit Union, largest workplace campaign; Stanwade Metal Products Inc., 100% giving; and Farmers Bank, largest increase.
  • Advocate Award: Greenwood Chevrolet.
  • Volunteer Award: Melissa Maki of Middlefield Bank.
  • Give/Advocate/Volunteer Award: Warren City Schools and Diane Sauer Chevrolet.
  • Good Guy Award: Ernie Crist of Howmet Aerospace and Trumbull County Commissioners Denny Malloy and Mauro Cantalemessa.
  • Small Business Award: Certified Precision Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning.
  • Legacy Award: Tim Schaffner, retired executive director of Trumbull County Children Services; and Gary Soukenik, retired president and CEO of 717 Credit Union.
Gary Soukenik received a Legacy Award at the event.

Van Nelson, board chairman for the United Way of Trumbull County, thanked the organization for its work.

“I grew up in a low-income household,” he said. “I was low income and didn’t know it, because agencies like the United Way were there to help fill the gaps and equalize things.”

R. Keeth Matheny, also known as Coach Rudy, was the event’s keynote speaker. The national speaker and author talked about the importance of empathy. Matheny is a former classroom teacher with more than 25 years of experience.

He created and taught a social emotional learning seminar that was featured in an article in The Atlantic.

Pictured at top: Christine Cope, president and CEO of United Way of Trumbull County, speaks at Thursday’s event.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.