United Way Kickoff Promises Fun, While Making a Difference

United Way of 1000 Lakes is preparing to launch the 2019-2020 campaign season with a pancake breakfast on Saturday, September 7th on the grounds of Old Central School. As in previous years, the morning features a lumberjack themed 5K and 1-mile run, pancake cook-off, flip relay, and breakfast. All activities are open to the public.

At the event, United Way will share its funding commitments for the next two years and announce its campaign fundraising goal. Through its investments, United Way helps meet a wide range of needs in the community, making a big difference for those facing emergencies or hardship, like food, shelter, and safety, and establishing a pathway to a better future by supporting tools, resources, and education for families, children, and aging adults.

“When individuals, businesses, and organizations focus their collective power on creating meaningful change, they can accomplish much more than one person or organization working alone,” said Kim Brink Smith, United Way executive director. “By engaging the whole community, we can help end hunger, build successful youth, and ensure the health and wellness of our neighbors.”

“In one year alone, United Way funded programs served more than 29,000 meals, supported more than 2,800 youth, and helped nearly 15,000 people access the tools they need to lead healthier and happier lives,” said Smith. “This is just a small snapshot of the many services provided by our partner agencies, but I think it helps illustrate just how much can be accomplished when we all work together.”

The campaign kick-off is generously supported by SuperOne Foods, Members Cooperative Credit Union, Dale’s Auto Body, Thrivent Financial, Lefty’s Tent and Party Rental, Paul Bunyan Communications, Deerwood Bank, Essentia Health, KOZY and KMFY Radio, Timberlake Lodge, L&M Fleet Supply, and Kiwanis.

Schedule of events:

Lumberjack Mile/5K Fun Run 
8 a.m. Registration – 9 a.m. Race Start | Old Central School
Lumberjacks and lumberjills run or walk from the northwest corner of Old Central School, around Ice Lake, wind through the fair grounds and return to Old Central School. First 150 registrants receive a soft, collectible t-shirt designed by Jenny Farber. Race packets are available on race day starting at 8 a.m. Registration fees are $25 per adult (13 and older) and $15 for ages 6-12. KIDS 5 and under have free admittance. Register online

9 a.m. | Old Central School
Cook-off teams will duel for the Cook-off title. Each entry will be rated for aroma, presentation, taste, density, and texture by celebrity judges. Bite-size samples will be available for the public. Awards presented at 10:45 a.m.

9-11 a.m. | Old Central School
Enjoy a short stack of pancakes with additions from the toppings bar (a crowd favorite), sausage links, yogurt parfait, juice or milk, and coffee. Suggested donation for the pancake breakfast: $6 per adult and $3 for those ages 6-12. Pick-up is also available.

10 a.m. | Old Central School 
Relay teams race while flipping flapjacks on the course around Old Central School. Lumberjack costumes encouraged. Winners will receive bragging rights and a trophy. Awards presented at 10:45 a.m.

Join the movement by donating today. To make a tax-deductible donation, one-time or recurring gifts, visit uwlakes.org/#donate. Checks can also be mailed or dropped off at United Way (350 NW 1St Ave., Suite A, Grand Rapids). Call 218-999-7570 for information about starting an employee giving program at your company, bill-me and bank draft options, as well as stock and security gifts.