Fulton County United Way & Healthy Choices Caring Communities Stage 2015 Community Awards Banquet

VR LOGO - WEBBy: Timothy Kays

The Fulton County United Way, along with Healthy Choices Caring Communities, presented the 2015 Community Awards Celebration at St. Caspar’s Church in Wauseon on the evening of March 16.

Beth Thomas, the Project Director of Healthy Choices Caring Communities, welcomed all to the evening’s program, and introduced members of the Healthy Choices Caring Communities Youth Advisory Council, a.k.a. YAC. Beginning with current YAC Chairperson, Carra Gilson, members of YAC came to the podium to describe their organization and its functions.

Ms. Thomas returned to the podium to present the awards for 2015. Receiving the Coalition Member of the Year Award was Mr. Norris Ledyard, while Ms. Jenna Storrer accepted the Coalition Champion of the Year Award on behalf of St. John’s Christian Church, and Ms. Erica VanLoocke was named Youth Advisory Council Member of the Year.

Executive Director of the Fulton County United Way, Ms. Gina Saaf, came forward to recognize their Board. She was followed at the podium by Ms. Tante Lovins, the Resource Development and Community Engagement Coordinator of the Fulton County United Way. She called forward and recognized those agencies and groups that had partnered with the Fulton County United Way during 2014.

Ms. Lovins then called forward and recognized the 2014 Campaign Cabinet of Dennis Haselman, Jennifer McCullough, Todd Myers, Mike Rochelle, and Garrett Tinsman. Mr. Myers has volunteered to take over the 2015 Campaign Chair, replacing outgoing chairman, Mr. Dan Anderson. Ms. Lovins recognized Archbold Furniture as Outstanding Campaign Partner for 2014, and Fulton County Processing for beginning a new employee campaign during the past year.

Ms. Saaf returned to the podium to recognize the United Way of Fulton County Volunteer of the Year, Mr. Tod Emerson, Jr. She then introduced the keynote speaker of the evening, Mr. Brock Mealer. Mr. Mealer brought his highly inspirational and motivational story to the audience. He drew a comparison between how trainer Mike Barwis first reached out to him to begin his recovery, and how the United Way of Fulton County reaches out to assist through agency support. Both have changed lives for the better, creating success stories along the way.

Timothy Kays can be reached at

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