United Way thanks stakeholders, volunteers

PHOTO BY NICOLE WALBY Tiffin-Seneca County United Way 2016-17 Campaign Chairman Kevin Reser discusses the year’s campaign Thursday at National Machinery. Pat DeMonte looks on.

Organizations, businesses and individuals were recognized Thursday evening during the annual Tiffin-Seneca United Way Donor and Volunteer Recognition Dinner at National Machinery.

 Patricia DeMonte, executive director, said the 2016-17 campaign — “Inspiring Hope to Frame a Better Future” — was “truly a community effort.”

“When you give to the United Way as donors and volunteers, you are investing time, money and treasures making changes and providing hope for our community,” she said.

“We have had a very successful campaign,” Kevin Reser, campaign chair, said.

The campaign goal was $484,000 and was exceeded by $2,000.

Reser thanked all who were involved.

“Without all of you, we would not have made our goal,” he said.

“In the end, it takes a community to solve community (problems).”

Those recognized included campaign cabinet members, the allocation team, agencies and area businesses.

The United Way Humanitarian Award was given to the Rev. Arthur and Joyce Geyh.

DeMonte said the couple, not originally from Seneca County, “made it home.”

Arthur retired after 35 years of ministry in Ohio and Kentucky and Joyce retired after 34 years as an elementary and junior high school teacher.

“The two of them were just remarkable together,” DeMonte said.

DeMonte spoke of the many organizations the Geyhs were part of and the commitment each had throughout the county and community.

“When I looked up the meaning for ‘humanitarian,’ it had words like ‘caring,’ ‘charitable,’ ‘benevolent,’ ‘philanthropic,’ ‘public spirited,’ ‘altruistic,’ ‘kind,’ ‘gentle’ and ‘compassionate,'” DeMonte said. “As long as I have known Arthur and Joyce, I can honestly say that they truly modeled those characteristics. They left a legacy of kindness behind them in all the lives that they touched and inspired many.”

DeMonte said it is hard to chose one person for the Volunteer of the Year Award, so this year two individuals were honored.

Honored were Jill Gosche and Bobby Steele.

“I would like to thank these two individuals for sharing their commitment and enthusiasm with our community,” DeMonte said. “Their dedication and extra hands to support us in everything they have done. They have been active in so many different events.”

Both helped at the Seneca County Fair booth, the annual United Way Day of Caring, the campaign kick-off, annual Storybook Festival, Family Fest, annual corn hole championship and more.

“Whenever we needed them, they seemed to be there,” DeMonte said. “Whatever we asked of them, they did with smiles on their faces and positive attitudes.”

DeMonte also recognized National Machinery with the North Star Award and Loretta Kalnow-Kaplan with the Alexis Tocqueville Award.