United Way Kicks Off 2012-2013 Campaign with Patriotic Theme and Ambitious $18 Million Goal


United Way Campaign Chair Shawn Bartelt, Vice President and General Manager of WFTV-Channel 9 and WRDQ Central Florida’s TV 27

Invoking the spirit of an old-fashioned campaign pep rally, Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) recently launched its 2012-2013 “Campaign for a Better Community” during a festive event attended by more than 300 business and community leaders.

Seeking to build on last year’s phenomenal success, an ambitious $18 million fundraising goal was announced by 2012-2013 campaign chair, Shawn Bartelt, Vice President and General Manager of WFTV-Channel 9 and WRDQ Central Florida’s TV 27.

“Every day in the newsroom, my team and I see the faces and hear the stories of those who are hurting,” Bartelt said during the event held at the Orlando Science Center. “In this room tonight and all across our community we have great leaders who share my passion and conviction. And I’m looking forward to working with all of you as we roll up our sleeves and get down to work in reclaiming Central Florida’s bright, shining future.”

From left, HFUW President/CEO Robert H. (Bob) Brown; Campaign Chair Shawn Bartelt; Lt. General Jay Garner; and WFTV/WRDQ Anchor Greg Warmoth

Emphasizing the importance of this year’s campaign, United Way President/CEO Robert H. (Bob) Brown said community need continues to far outpace available resources. “That’s why we are again calling on upon generous companies, organizations and individuals to partner with United Way in providing vital services and meeting basic needs.”

In keeping with the patriotic theme, guest speaker Lt. General Jay Garner, U.S. Army (retired) discussed the importance of mission, determination and goals. As the former Director of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance for Iraq, Garner also shared inspirational stories from his 40-year military career, as well as a moving Civil War prayer.

Dollars raised by last year’s workplace campaign helped improve the lives of more than 347,500 Central Floridians in need. If your company would like to schedule a campaign, please contact Robert Haight, United Way Senior Vice President of Resource Development, at (407) 835-0918 or e-mail Robert.Haight@hfuw.org. To make an individual donation, click here.

To view additional event photos, click here.

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