April 17, 2014

Medina
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54°F

United Way celebrates $1 million in fundraising

Correction, 8:54 a.m.: Event-goers paid $25 for their meals, and wine was not served.

MEDINA TWP. — Hundreds of people were honored and thanked at the annual United Way luncheon for volunteers and donors Tuesday.

Jim Boyes, new president of the United Way of Medina County, addresses hundreds of volunteers and donors at an annual luncheon in their honor Tuesday. Boyes is director of the Medina County University Center and has been a United Way board member since 2011. (NICK GLUNT / GAZETTE)

Seth Kujat, executive director of the Medina County United Way, said the 400 or so people who volunteered in 2012 touched the lives of 20,000 county residents.

“Most years, we reach 16(,000) or 17,000,” he told the crowd. “Last year was truly exceptional.”

Kujat said he was astounded by how many people put time in to helping the less fortunate.

“I get paid for this,” he said. “You don’t, and that’s amazing.”

The noon luncheon was at the Weymouth Country Club ballroom, 3946 Weymouth Road. Volunteers and donors paid $25 to attend, which covered a lunch. Kujat and members of the board of directors gave presentations and awards.

Among them was Jason Stevenson, vice president of fundraising, who said donors gave just more than $1 million to the organization in 2012. This was the third consecutive year the United Way raised that much money, he said.

“On behalf of the United Way,” he said, “thank you for trusting us to help our neighbors in need.”

Stevenson specifically praised the Ruhlin Co., Wadsworth Schools, 3M, FirstMerit Bank, Westfield Group and Louis Perry & Associates for their dedication.

Hundreds of volunteers and donors to the United Way of Medina County attended a luncheon in their honor Tuesday at Weymouth Country Club. The organization raised more than $1 million in 2012 and reached more than 20,000 county residents. (NICK GLUNT / GAZETTE)

Closing the luncheon was the board’s new president, Jim Boyes, director of the Medina County University Center. He has been a board member since 2011.

Boyes succeeds Medina Schools Superintendent Randy Stepp, who was not present at the luncheon.

Boyes said the organization came up with a comprehensive set of goals, and at the top is inspiring United Way to create lasting differences in the community.

“We need to make sustainable change not temporary improvements,” he said. “We need to get people out of the places they’re in. This is the way to do it.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.