2014 United Way of Van Wert County Campaign Chair Scott Mull poses with the thermometer along Westwood Dr. in Van Wert. The thermometer will be used to keep track of the fundraising campaign as the United Way looks to reach its new goal. (Submitted photo)
2014 United Way of Van Wert County Campaign Chair Scott Mull poses with the thermometer along Westwood Dr. in Van Wert. The thermometer will be used to keep track of the fundraising campaign as the United Way looks to reach its new goal. (Submitted photo)

VAN WERT — “Open your eyes!’ That is the theme for the upcoming campaign for the United Way of Van Wert County. But there are multiple meanings to the theme.

“It really has two meanings,” shared 2014 Campaign Chair Scott Mull of Central Insurance. “The first meaning is to encourage citizens to open their eyes to the needs of our community. The second meaning is for everyone to open their eyes to the 24 incredible United Way member agencies working tirelessly each and every day to meet those needs in Van Wert County. I hope this year’s theme inspires people to take a look around Van Wert, see what needs there are and what we can do about those needs. Sometimes it is not just about funding; it’s about volunteering and making a difference in someone’s life.”

Something else about the campaign should open some eyes in surprise. Mull has set the campaign goal for the year at $600,000. The past couple of years the campaign goal has been set at $500,000 and fundraising has fallen just short of that mark. But Mull gave a good reason for the aggressive campaign goal for 2014.

“This year’s goal is the amount our local member agencies told us they needed to operate and provide their needed programs for the community,” he said. “There were also a few new program requests, programs that would really benefit the community, but we just didn’t have enough funding to take them on at this time.”



The Pacesetter Company for this campaign is Central Insurance, a United Way supporter since 1922. This year, Carly Fortman and Travis Owens are chairing the internal campaign at Central. All employees will attend a campaign meeting where they will view the campaign video, hear an agency speaker, and learn more about United Way and the services provided by the 24 local agencies.

“We are excited to have Central leading the way for the United Way this year,” said United Way Executive Director Deb Russell. “Central employees have always been generous in their support of the United Way and Central matches their employee pledges. This makes a huge difference to our campaign. And they don’t stop with just the fundraising aspect of our campaign. Every year they have done an agency project for Day of Caring, and they hold a company-wide competition for the Day of Caring food drive. Central is very supportive of the Van Wert community, which we appreciate, and do not take for granted.”