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Tiffin-Seneca United Way kicks off 2022-2023 fundraising campaign




Tiffin, Ohio — The Tiffin-Seneca United Way (TSUW) recently celebrated their fundraising campaign kick off and announced the largest goal in campaign history.

Volunteers, spectators, and United Way supporters gathered at the East Green Amphitheater in downtown Tiffin on Saturday to kick off the 2022-2023 Tiffin-Seneca United Way campaign.

Along with announcing the 2022-2023 campaign cabinet, the event featured special entertainment, guests, and some freebies.

Following Tiffin Mayor Dawn Iannantuono’s proclamation, TSUW Executive Director Kari Steele shared a story of a local terminally ill woman who received support services from First Call for Help and how donations received made a direct impact on her life.

Steele then announced the campaign team, staff, and board members present from United Way: Chris Lewis, campaign chair; Samantha Rumschlag, campaign co-chair; and Jose Arias, campaign leader, were all present to celebrate. Campaign leader Valerie Zeno was unable to attend but sent her well wishes.

United Way Staff members who were introduced included office manager Nikki Distel and First Call for Help Program Coordinator Abbey Strausbaugh.

Board President David Stover represented the board of directors while partner agencies were represented by Jennifer Gill of Seneca Mentoring Youth Links, Barb Flood of Patchworks House, and Diane Culver of Allen Eiry.

Mikayla Ludwig was a featured speaker and expressed her gratitude while sharing her experience of getting help through direct services from First Call for Help, Salvation Army, and Patchworks House.

Following the presentation of Ludwig’s journey, Chris Lewis announced several important details of the campaign.

The 2022-2023 campaign theme was announced as “Sheltering our community through life’s storms. That’s what it means to Live United.”  The aspirational goal was set for $1.2 million with the message being if every working member in Seneca County gave just $1 per week the goal would be superseded.

Through the message of “every dollar will count,” Lewis mentioned all the methods in which donations could be received and put special emphasis on the new online bill pay system through Harness, an updated online payment processor, which uses text messaging or a QR code.

Contributed Photo

Once all campaign details were announced, Chris Lewis announced the band, The Athen Ry out of Findlay, Ohio. The folk-rock band featured Alex Treece on mandolin, Jason Wagner on guitar and harmonica, vocal harmonies by Maria Weigman on violin, Dan Wilkinson on upright bass and Matt Walker on percussion.

Closing the event was 14-year-old Ataiah Foster, a Columbian High School freshman, featuring accompanist Carter Bennett, producer of TiffinKidz and a senior music major at Tiffin University.

The free concert was sponsored by National Machinery and Thrivent. The event also featured free ice-cream sandwiches and popsicles sponsored by Friends of United Way – Cole Family Foundation, Sutton Bank, Knot Splinters and Hempy Water.

United Way is currently scheduling short presentations, so if you or anyone you know would like to donate to the United Way or learn more, call Nikki at 419-448-0355.

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