Huntingdon County United Way supporters gathered Thursday evening to celebrate the conclusion of the 2018-2019 campaign with the annual dinner in Ellis Ballroom at Juniata College.

Huntingdon County United Way board president Kevin Kasun greeted those in attendance and introduced Huntingdon County United Way executive director Kathy Armillei, who revealed the results of this year’s campaign.

The theme “Caring for Our Community” inspired area businesses, organizations and individuals to strive for a goal of $425,000 and raise $392,641 to support the work of the agency. While last year’s goal was a record-breaking $427,500, Armillei said success cannot be defined by mere numbers.

“Although we didn’t reach our goal, our campaign was still a success,” Armillei said. “We must remember that a goal is not the only measure of a successful campaign.”

She introduced campaign chairs Chris Gildea and Joe Myers of J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital and thanked them for their outstanding leadership over the course of the past year.

“I have enjoyed working with our campaign chairs. Joe would say he didn’t do much, but just knowing he was there for support was helpful,” said Armillei. “Chris was such an inspiration. Her ideas and insights shed light on ways we could improve our campaign and our social media presence.”

Gildea thanked all of those present for their support of the United Way.

“It was great to have the opportunity to educate employees on the importance of United Way, to encourage their gifts and to encourage their ongoing support,” she said. “From installing smoke detectors during the Day of Caring to tonight, Joe and I are very thrilled and honored to have played this role in our community.”

Prior to the presentation of the evening’s awards, the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Andrew Brock, district executive with the Juniata Valley Council of Boy Scouts. The invocation was given by Salvation Army Auxiliary Captain Charity Bender.

Among those in attendance were members of the community, local businesses and industries committed to supporting Huntingdon County United Way, as well as representatives from United Way partner agencies, American Red Cross, Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund, Crossroads Pregnancy Center, Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA, Huntingdon County Child and Adult Development, Huntingdon County Library, Huntingdon House, Juniata Valley Council Boy Scouts of America, Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army, as well as United Way affiliate agencies, the Eye Care Agency, Home Nursing Agency, J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, Mount Union Community Library, Skills of Central PA and the United Service Organization (USO).

“Day after day, our agencies are there to provide the services and programs that are so vital to improving the quality of life for our community,” Armillei said. “Many are here with us tonight to show their appreciation to our donors that help support their work.”

Gildea and Myers then presented awards in recognition of businesses for outstanding support during the 2018-2019 campaign.

The Higher and Higher Award, honoring those businesses for which giving has consistently increased over the past three years, was presented to Bumgardner & Flasher Oil Co., Diversified Investment Solutions LLC, Fairfield Inn, First Energy Corp./Penelec, First National Bank, Kish Bank and Mutual Benefit Group.

The recipients of the Diamond Awards, which recognize those businesses that experienced an increase in total employee per capita giving and participation, were Containment Solutions, Crossroads Pregnancy Center, Huston Ford, J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, Juniata Valley School District, Skills, SPE Federal Credit Union, Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11, UGI Utilities and World Marketing of America.

Employee Campaign Awards included Crossroads Pregnancy Center in the agency division, Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11 in the education division, Northwest Savings Bank in the business and commerce division, First Energy Corp./Penelec in the labor and industry division and J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital in the health services division.

J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital was the recipient of this year’s Community Growth Award in recognition of having the highest percent increase in employee giving.

ACCO Brands was honored with this year’s Heart of the Campaign Award.

The Executive Director Award was presented to J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital for going above and beyond expectations.

Chairs for the 2019-2020 Huntingdon County United Way campaign have not yet been selected and the campaign will officially kick off on the Day of Caring in September.

April can be reached at afeagley@huntingdondailynews.com.

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