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Fundraiser & Event Info
All community members are invited to the annual meeting in March to celebrate the successes of the campaign and elect new board members. Campaign volunteers and pacesetter businesses are honored for their hard work. The president's and citizen's awards are presented to two community members in honor of their dedication to community service.
United Way Golf Tournament
Each year, the Heartland United Way hosts a golf tournament at Riverside Golf Club on the first Monday in June. Local businesses sponsor teams of four to compete for prizes in the two-best net ball tournament.
Worldwide Day of Action
United Way Worldwide hosts a day of action each year on June 21st, the longest day of the year. Heartland United Way plans a day for people to take action in our local communities, with a different focus each year. In 2011, the day focused on recruiting mentors to read to students in summer school.
Moo-Claw Steak & Lobster Dinner
Moo-Claw is Grand Island's signature surf and turf event, featuring delicious grilled Nebraska steaks and fresh lobster flown in from the East coast. The mid-July event has been Heartland United Way's largest fundraiser for nearly 10 years and is attended by about 700 community members annually. Each year, United Way invites local or regional musicians to provide live entertainment. In 2011, Midwest Dueling Pianos returned to take requests and play audience favorites. Tickets start at just $25.
Each August, campaign coordinators at local businesses are invited to attend the pacesetter kick-off to learn how to host a successful workplace campaign to benefit United Way. Coordinators receive their campaign materials, as well as tips and strategies for making the workplace campaign fun for employees.
Tour of Agencies
Community members are invited to tour the 16 United Way partner agencies in mid-August to learn about the variety of local programs and services they provide and the people they serve. This is an all-day event and a great opportunity to learn how United Way donor dollars are spent.
State Fair Ice Cream Parlor
When the Nebraska State Fair moved to Grand Island in August 2010, the Heartland United Way saw a great opportunity to become a vendor and help ensure at least part of the State Fair food revenues flow back in to the community to help people in need. Using solely volunteer labor, United Way operated the Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor in partnership with Roberts Dairy. All volunteers served ice cream cones and earned hourly wages for the United Way partner agency of their choice. The parlor was so successful in its first year that we plan to continue operation in future years.
Husker Harvest Days Food Drive
Since 2009, Monsanto has matched $1 per pound of food collected by United Way during the annual Husker Harvest Days event in September, up to $10,000. The food collected during the drive and the matching funds are distributed to food pantries in and around Grand Island including Hope Harbor, Central Nebraska Community Services and Salvation Army. United Way works with FFA leaders and local grocery stores to coordinate the food drive efforts. In addition to donating food at Husker Harvest Days, community members can support the drive by donating at Super Saver, Skagway or Hy-Vee.
Heartland United Way kicks off the community campaign at the end of September or beginning of October. The event is typically a luncheon that features a local or national speaker to inspire community members to get involved by giving, advocating or volunteering. Past speakers have included Chris Gardner, author of "The Pursuit of Happiness," former Husker football star Matt Davison and Gloria Wolbach.
Each November, Heartland United Way teams up with the Continuum of Care agencies and local restaurants to raise awareness of the needs in our community and raise funds to help fight homelessness. Participating restaurants donate a portion of their proceeds on the designated Dine United day to local shelters including Crisis Center, Hope Harbor and Salvation Army.
12 Keys of Christmas/Campaign Finale
Heartland United Way announces their campaign total each year in mid-December and celebrates the individuals who contributed at a campaign finale reception. The reception includes the 12 Keys of Christmas give away where one lucky donor wins the campaign vehicle donated by Tom Dinsdale.