The Community Colors 5k race kicked off the United Way community campaign in a fun and colorful way last week. Nearly 2,000 people came to learn about the needs in Midland County and be inspired with ways they can help. The campaign is off to a strong start reporting pledges of $891,380, an encouraging 18% of the overall campaign goal of $4,900,000.

“What an exciting way to kick-off the campaign,” shared 2015 United Way of Midland County Campaign Chair Jim Nigro. “I have been inspired by the many innovative and creative ways that people are lending their time, talent and heart to create a stronger community.”

Many Midland County companies are just beginning to kick-off their campaigns but are already reporting strong progress.

The employees of The Dow Chemical Company Michigan Operations hosted their seventh annual Chili Cook-off. Nearly 3,000 employees in attendance were treated to a free bowl of chili, a salsa contest and bake sale items. Two departments served as Pacesetters this year to build momentum. The Midland Human Resources team is celebrating 100% participation and pledges of $37,063. The Engineering Solutions group reported donations totaling $33,662, including a departmental Penny War.

“Four of our leaders challenged each other to collect the most money,” shared Kathy Rassette, HR Manager at Dow Chemical. “The leader with the most money won a pie in the face. Miraculously, it was a four-way tie.”

Dow Corning kicked their campaign off in a very sweet way, giving employees an opportunity to purchase a bag and take stroll through the United Way agency candy corridor. While filling their bags with their favorite candies, they filled their hearts with inspiration and stories of impact. The employees in the DC40 building served as this year’s pacesetter, raising an impressive $26,775 and inspired employees with an ice cream social, Corn Hole games and much more.

“This is a very exciting time in United Way history,” shared Ann Fillmore, Executive Director of United Way of Midland County. “We have invested years listening to our community to better understand their aspirations and how we can work together to achieve them. This input, along with the wealth of local data, led to the development of our Community Level Goals under health, education and self-sufficiency. These are the building blocks for a good life and the core of our mission that all citizens reach their full potential.”

The United Way campaign runs now through October 31st. For more information on how you can Live United, call 631-3670, or visit our website at