Prairieland United Way achieves annual goal, names Paul White as Helen Baldwin Award recipient

By Benjamin Cox on April 11, 2018 at 11:21am

The Prairieland United Way Annual Awards and Recognition Breakfast was held this morning, and it was a rousing success.

Paul White, the former President and CEO of Premier Bank of Jacksonville, was this year’s recipient of the Helen Baldwin Distinguished Service Award. The award is named after the former Jacksonville Alderman Helen Baldwin. Baldwin remains very active with the United Way, and her philanthropic ideals are still revered in the Prairieland community to this day.

Bev Coats teamed up with Mary Ferguson this year as Campaign Co-Chairs to raise $520,000, which they successfully achieved, behind the fitting slogan, “Neighbors United”.

Mary Ferguson describes the beauty she sees in the efforts of the Prairieland community coming together for the agencies built to support those who need assistance.

Bev Coats and I are so excited. It’s a morning of celebration signifying that we met and even exceeded our goal as Neighbors United. It was a great learning experience for all of us and it showed us that this community will open up its hearts for so much vital, necessary support for our neighbors in need.”

A former Prairieland United Way President and Helen Baldwin Award winner, Bev Coats speaks on how the yearly donation campaigns bring unity to the region.

It was an adventuresome year for sure. We struggled to the end, but the United Way board stepped up and our community stepped up in so many ways from small individual donations to corporate donations that came in at the last minute to make our campaign this year successful. It is amazing, helping mothers with children, elderly with meals. Our agencies step up to assist the United Way campaign. They make presentations for us and they also donate back their employees to the United Way campaign because they see the good it does in our community for the people that they are servicing.”

Prairieland United Way Executive Director Karen Walker details her personal mission as Executive director and welcomes everyone in the service region to join the United Way family.

Part of my goal is to really increase the awareness of what United Way does, not only our agencies but then what the campaigns can do. Hopefully if there’s businesses out there or individuals who would like to contribute, be a part of our family, we would love to have them. Give me a call, let me know. But really it just takes a huge effort from a lot of people to make this happen. We have 32 agencies that we will be funding in the upcoming year. We just did allocations last month and from this campaign/the money that was raised this year, it was $521,000 that we raised, will go to fund 39 programs. So we have a lot of money going out, and 100 percent of what people give goes out to these agencies.”

Prairieland United Way serves Morgan, Cass, Scott, and Northern Greene counties.