On April 25, United Way will host the eighth annual Spirit of the Community celebration at the Great Hall in Midland. The exciting event honors the many ways that individuals and organizations are lending their time, talents, voices and hearts to create a better and stronger community.

“Spirit of the Community is a celebration of those who work tirelessly to make a positive impact throughout Midland County,” shared Ann Fillmore, Executive Director of United Way of Midland County. “We are blessed with a compassionate and generous community, and it is an honor to shine a light on the work of the many individuals and organizations that are dedicated to changing lives.”

2017 Spirit of the Community honorees

Captain Brian Goodwill (Salvation Army)
2017 Charles J. Strosacker Award
This award recognizes an individual from a United Way partner agency for their contribution and leadership in promoting the well-being of others. Captain Brian impacts countless families each year by providing meals, clothes and everyday necessities for those in need. He gives generously of his time and heart to Midland County.

Jamie Moore and Chris Shuster
(The Dow Chemical Company)
2017 Torch Bearer Award
This award recognizes United Way campaign volunteers who demonstrate a true passion for sharing the Live United message. Chris and Jamie embody the spirit of the community and served as a bellwether for success of the Dow/Dow Corning team—working together ahead of the merger to coordinate their community impact from Dow locations throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Betty Chenoweth
(Community Volunteer)
2017 Heart of the Community Award
This award recognizes a group or individual who has demonstrated a passion for serving our community through volunteering. Betty has been active in the community for over 50 years, serving as a board member on the Midland Public Schools Board, the Midland branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and through a variety of volunteer initiatives at Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Dave Vercellino
(New Life Vineyard Church)
2017 Shining Star Award Recipient
As its name implies, this award celebrates an individual that shines bright in our community, as a visible symbol of caring and compassion through advocacy. As a pastor and community volunteer, Dave’s impact can be felt throughout the community. Thanks to his leadership, Dave inspired several local organizations to combine forces to form the Friends of Whispering Pines nonprofit to improve the lives of those in the Whispering Pines Mobile Home community and beyond.

Jordan Summers
(Chemical Bank)
2017 Outstanding Young Leader Award:
This award recognizes a member of United Way’s Young Leaders United who encourages the spirit of philanthropy and volunteerism among emerging leaders. In addition to his work with Young Leaders United, Jordan is also actively involved with Memorial Presbyterian Church, the Disability Network of Mid-Michigan, Midland County Bar Association and Northwood University.

Laura Rhodes
(Northwood University)
2017 Outstanding Student Award:
This award recognizes a local student who “Lives United” and encourages the spirit of volunteerism within their school and community. Laura has been instrumental in the planning and coordination of several events on campus and throughout the community, and she has inspired students of all ages to get involved and make a difference in Midland County.

2017 Companies That Care
Companies That Care are characterized not only by the financial commitment they and their employees make, but the impact they have through advocacy and volunteerism. This year, United Way is honoring 25 organizations: AptarGroup, Ayre/Rhinehart Realtors, Bolger + Battle, Chemical Bank, City of Midland, County of Midland, Deloitte, Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union, Fisher Contracting Company, Garber Chevrolet, Gavin & Associates, LLC, Great Lakes Loons, Ieuter Insurance Group, McKay Press, Members First Credit Union, Midland Cogeneration Venture, Midland Daily News, Midland Public Schools, MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland, Northwood University, The Dow Chemical Company, Three Rivers Corporation, Trinseo, Wolverine Bank and Yeo & Yeo. Each year, one company rises to the top of our incredible pool of Companies That Care.

Trinseo has the distinct honor of being selected as the 2017 Caring Company of the Year as the stand-out organization for giving, advocating and volunteering in the community.

United Way invites everyone to join in honoring the incredible people and organizations who are impacting our community. The event will be held at the Great Hall on April 25 and tickets are $30 each or a table of 10 for $300. To reserve your seat, call United Way at (989) 631-3670 or visit the Spirit of the Community Registration page.