United Way of Martin County celebrated its 50th anniversary with a luncheon held at Sailfish Point Country Club on Oct. 20. The event served to commemorate the organization’s legacy, which started in 1972, and highlight its goals for the future. At the luncheon, which was attended by more than 200 people, United Way thanked the dozens of organizations and thousands of individuals who raise millions of dollars every year to help Martin County residents meet their basic needs and build better, more stable lives for themselves and their families.
Bryan Garner, Senior Director, FPL Marketing & Communication and United Way of Martin County board member, served as event emcee.
“Hurricane Ian was a sobering reminder that we are all only one storm, one emergency, one lost job, one diagnosis away from having our lives turned upside down,” Garner said. “Local United Ways play a critical role in getting communities back on their feet after a disaster. But even when the skies are clear, United Way works to help local people weather any turbulence that life throws their way.”
The mission of United Way is to increase self-sufficiency for every person in Martin County through resources and programs that promote health, education and financial stability. This year United Way is investing $1.7 million in local programs to help Martin County families get on solid financial ground, students succeed in school, and youth learn vocational and technical skills, and more.
During the luncheon, United Way announced Martin County’s Top 10 Most Generous Workplaces and Communities that make this investment possible. These are the Top 10 of the nearly 200 companies and communities whose employees and residents gave philanthropic contributions to United Way of Martin County during the previous fiscal year.
Publix Supermarkets continues to reign as the most generous workplace and Sailfish Point as the most generous community in Martin County.
The following awards were presented to organizations and individuals that went above and beyond to support United Way of Martin County’s efforts by donating their time, talent and treasure:
- The Collaborator of the Year Award was presented to The City of Stuart for their support of United Way initiatives like the Born Learning Trails.
- The Game Changer Award was presented to the Martin County Board of County Commissioners, whose partnership dates all the way back to 1972. The County’s fundraising campaign increased by 270%, raising over $71,000 for the local community.
- The Hand Raiser Award was presented to Pratt & Whitney for always raising their hands to help when United Way is in need.
- The Rising Star Award was presented to SouthState Bank for their volunteer and sponsorship support.
- The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Mary Cohen, a retired teacher who serves as an AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer.
- The Unsung Hero Award was presented to Denise Anderson, an employee of Seacoast Bank, for her significant behind-the-scenes contribution to our community.
- The Flame of Excellence Award was presented to Martin County Fire Rescue. They added fuel to the County campaign with a $12,500 matching contribution from their union.