Community Spirit Awards given out at annual United Way meeting Thursday

Friday, March 23, 2007

The United Way of Southeast Missouri recognized Community Spirit Award recipients at its annual meeting Thursday at Drury Lodge.

Awards were presented to an individual, a business and a United Way-funded partner that have made exemplary efforts to support the community through their work with the United Way.

Pete Poe, president of the SEMO District Fair Board, received the Spirit of Giving Award because of his service on the United Way board of directors for 10 years. Poe was on the board from 1986 to 1996, when he served as president of the United Way board. He remains involved in the United Way and many other community organizations.

The Spirit of Community Award was presented to Nordenia USA Inc., which contributed a combined corporate and employee gift of more than $42,000 for the 2006 campaign. Over the years, Nordenia's corporate and employee gifts have totaled $215,000. More than 50 employees are members of the United Way's Lorimier Society and donate an average of $122 per person each year.

The Lutheran Family and Children's Services received the Spirit of Caring Award. The agency serves as the only adoption agency between Memphis and St. Louis, and also provides the only in-home senior counseling services in the area.

New total for 2006

A new 2006 fund-raising campaign total was announced at the meeting. The new total of approximately $1.17 million is 105 percent of the campaign's goal.

"We've been changing lives for more than 50 years. And it's all of you who help us," executive director Nancy Jernigan said to the room full of agency executives and staff, board members, campaign volunteers and community leaders.

Jernigan announced the creation of a statewide 2-1-1 information and referral system that will be launched in early April under the United Way of Greater St. Louis. This service will replace First Call for Help, which has served the same purpose locally for about seven years.

Due to its expansion of services, Jernigan also announced the United Way office will be moving to 430 Broadway in April.

jfreeze@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 246

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