SJ-R Column: February 19, 2023

As originally published in the State Journal-Register on February 19, 2023
Evan Davis, Board Chair, United Way of Central Illinois

We are well into the new year at the United Way and new things are happening this spring as we continue to celebrate our 100th year serving the Central Illinois community. In March, we will wrap up our year of celebration by hosting our Annual Meeting on Wednesday, March 29 at 3:30pm at the Firefighters Postal Lake Club. The annual meeting is a great opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate the United Way of Central Illinois and the value that it has provided to this community for the past 100 years. This event will not only reflect on the past but also look forward to the next 100 years! Most importantly, the event provides opportunities to strengthen relationships among those who care so deeply for this community. Have you reserved your company table or individual seat yet? Find out more on our website
After the Annual Meeting, stick around or join us exclusively for a Celebrity Bartender Event at the Firefighters Postal Lake Club. We will be welcoming special guests from the Springfield Fire Department as well as United Way celebrities: Kate Ward from KEB, Mike Aiello from Troxell, Nikki Monari from SCHEELS, Jamie Toole and Melissa Gaynor from Springfield Lucky Horseshoes, and Sean Lynch from 100.5 WYMG. All donations to our celebrities will benefit the United Way.
As you may have seen, we just completed our grant funding application process for our 2023-2026 funding cycle. This means that our volunteer Vision Council members are hard at work now reviewing worthy programs throughout our community to decide which programs will receive funding through United Way. We would like to take this time to thank not only our volunteers who spend countless hours on this process, but also the community for donating to the United Way and our mission during our annual workplace campaigns and in other capacities, it is your donations of time and gifts that make our community a better place to live. Thank you.
These funded programs are the heart of our community. As part of my role as Board Chair, I have committed to visiting each of our funded programs. I am always so impressed by the level of commitment and kindness at each program and love hearing how they stay true to their respective mission while also working toward a way to LIVE UNITED.
As we determine our next funded programs, I am confident that they will be full of innovative solutions to address opportunities in our community in the fundamental areas of Basic Needs, Health, Education, and Financial Stability. I love hearing the stories of the good being done in our community by not only established programs, but also new and growing projects and programs. The United Way continues to focus and prioritize funding for any program that demonstrates outstanding outcomes for our community. Stay tuned as we announce these partnerships later this year.
I hope that you can join the United Way in 2023 and LIVE UNITED. To me, that means finding ways to work together to build a better tomorrow. What does that mean to you?
Evan Davis, 2022-23 Board Chair of United Way of Central IL and Vice President, Clinical Operations, at Memorial Health. Learn more about UWCIL by visiting their website at and follow them on social media @UnitedWayofCentralIllinois on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube