A Community Impacts Success: your donations to the Community Impact Fund will positively change lives in central Illinois

Access to quality education provides youth and adults with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve success in all stages of life. When a community invests in local education programs, it directly impacts the financial stability and health of the community and the people who call it home. For many students, the path to academic success is not a straight line, as factors outside of the classroom can inhibit learning even more than an understanding of the material. From meeting basic needs to providing support for social-emotional issues, addressing these key factors is essential to ensure students of all ages are ready to learn when they take a seat at their desk.

Read more in the September 2019 issue of Peoria Magazine at https://www.peoriamagazines.com/pm/2019/sep/community-impacts-success

Heart of Illinois United Way Kicks Off 2019 Community Campaign

The Heart of Illinois United Way kicked off our 2019 Community Campaign on Friday, September 6 with a breakfast, volunteer event and food drive. Our thanks to PNC for underwriting our kickoff events.

This summer, more than 40 Pacesetters celebrated the United Way and its impact on central Illinois. With lots of special events and fun and games, this year’s Pacesetters worked hard raising more than $1.3 million to-date.

“Thank you to everyone for joining us to kick off the 2019 Campaign. Brooke and I feel so fortunate to partner with you to raise funds for the Heart of Illinois United Way and its partner agencies that work tirelessly to ensure everyone in our community has the opportunity to thrive and has a place to call home,” Patrick Urich, 2019 Campaign Co-Chair, said.

The community’s generous support of the United Way is vital to positively changing lives. Each year, one in three people in our community rely on United Way funded programs and initiatives to improve their education, financial stability and health. Through a data driven process, our United Way evaluates local, critical health and human care trends and applies this ongoing research to our Community Impact Fund grant process. This invests your donations to the Heart of Illinois United Way strategically while providing the best philanthropic return on investment.

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Karen Stecher Named 2019 Hoot Gibson Award Honoree

Karen Stecher was recently named our 2019 Hoot Gibson Award honoree for volunteerism to support the Heart of Illinois United Way!

Robert Brandfass, Board Chair-Elect and Karen Stecher, Hoot Gibson Honoree

Karen Stecher was recently named our 2019 Hoot Gibson Award honoree for volunteerism to support the Heart of Illinois United Way! Whether it is for work, or as a volunteer, Karen is dedicated to serving nonprofit organizations both locally and nationally. As a Community Impact Fund volunteer grant reviewer since 2006, Karen support has positively impacted the health of the people in central Illinois.

As a former member of GENeration United, she also shares her extensive experience in external and internal communications as an invaluable member of our United Way Marketing Committee since 2008. And last year, she was responsible for managing our annual Power of the Purse silent auction that netted more than $100,000 to support the Community Impact Fund and childhood hunger initiatives.

Our annual Hoot Gibson award is presented in memory of Horace J. “Hoot” Gibson who spent countless hours working without fanfare to help others.

Doug & Vicky Stewart Honored as 2019 McCord Philanthropists of the Year

The 2019 recipients of the McCord Philanthropists of the Year are Doug and Vicky Stewart who have been great supporters of nonprofits throughout central Illinois for more than 40 years including chairing the 2013 Heart of Illinois United Way Campaign. Now retired, they continue to be philanthropic leaders in our community.

Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins with Vicky and Doug Stewart

Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins with Vicky and Doug Stewart

Through Doug’s previous work as Regional President of PNC Bank, he still found time to teach at Bradley University and Illinois Central College along with several other financial educational programs. He has served on several nonprofit boards including the Bradley University Board of Trustees as Chairman of the Board, the Bielfeldt Foundation, the Peoria Riverfront Museum Development Committee, Children’s Home, PeoriaNEXT, the Heartland Partnership and the CEO Council.

Before retiring, Vicky was the Vice President of Planning and Organizational Effectiveness at Illinois Central College. In 2006, she received the Athena Award for her work in elementary and secondary education and for her dedication to organizations that support women’s professions. She has served on the OSF St. Francis Medical Center Community Advisory Board, the Peoria Riverfront Museum Board, and the Quest Charter Academy Board.

Established in 2007, the Heart of Illinois Philanthropists of the Year Award has recognized members of our Tocqueville Society for their leadership, dedication and inspiration. In 2018, in honor of the McCord Family’s long-standing support of central Illinois. Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins, 2018 McCord Philanthropists of the Year, presented this year’s award to Doug and Vicky Stewart.