Fundraiser & Event Info

Annual Meeting

All community members are invited to the annual meeting in February 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.


#GivingTuesday is the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday to encourage people to give back during the holiday season. #GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.  This holiday season — give your voice, time & money to improve your community!


2014 marks the inaugural year for Go Big GIVE! May 1st will be a 24-Hour Giving Challenge to Click & Give. Go Big GIVE is a collaboration with the Grand Island Community Foundation and the Heartland United Way. This 24-Hour Giving Day is a challenge put out to those in Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick Counties. Click Here to visit

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.

United Way 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 2013 and 2014, the Heartland United Way is encouraging the community to get out and about on the trails in Grand Island. Get Up. Get Out. Get Healthy.

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 2013, Soca-Jukebox returned to to play island favorites. For 2014, the Heartland United Way is hosting Mooove Claw, a "spin-off" of the Annual Moo Claw Event due to an unexpected office move.  Please join us for a fun summer night out at Riverside Golf Course on Friday, August 15th! 

Pacesetter Kick-Off

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-March and 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. To sign-up for the tour, please click here.

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.

Campaign Kick-Off

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.

Dine United

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.

Holiday Programs

To learn more about our Holiday Programs, please CLICK HERE.