By: Amanda Price—
Muncie, IN – An energized United Way of Delaware County enters the next phase of its 2017 fundraising campaign with a citywide block party Thursday in downtown Muncie, combining First Thursday, Ball State University’s presidential installation festivities, and familiar headliners.
“This campaign puts a laser focus on our mission – to end generational poverty first by bringing all third-graders in Delaware County Indiana up to state reading standards by 2024,” said 2017 Campaign Chair Casey Stanley. “But it’s also a chance to celebrate who we are as a community and who we want to become.”
The Bahama Llama Band will take the Walnut Street stage at 6 p.m. to get the celebration started and feature special guests, legendary Hoosier musicians Carl Storie, Cook and Belle, and Jennifer Stanley.
Local brewers – The Heorot, Elm Street, New Corner, and Guardian – will make their Muncie-brewed flavors available on Walnut Street in commemoration of the kick-off and in celebration of more than 500 “Day of Action” workers. The volunteers will blanket the city all day Thursday at nearly 20 area non-profits, five local parks and throughout Muncie Community Schools highlighting the important work United Way makes possible throughout our community.
More than 200 volunteers from Ball State University signed up to work at Cardinal Greenway, to build Little Free Libraries, collect books, and create literacy kits for United Way’s grade level reading initiative. The inauguration and installation weekend of Ball State University President Geoffrey Mearns begins with Thursday’s United Way Kick-Off and Day of Action.
Mearns, who has pledged Ball State support throughout the campaign and says the university and the city of Muncie are “better together,” will speak at Thursday’s kickoff, as will Ball State Trustee and United Way Worldwide CEO Brian Gallagher and Stanley, who represents a third-generation campaign chair in his family, and is the seventh executive from Ontario Systems to chair a United Way campaign.
Another bonus for being downtown this Thursday – eat at a local downtown restaurant, including Vera Mae’s or Casa Del Sol, and 10 percent of all profits will be donated to the United Way campaign.
“I am always inspired by the generosity of our community,” said Jenni Marsh, President & CEO of United Way of Delaware County.
Signs point to a successful campaign for 2017. For example, United Way’s Pacesetter fundraising, which represents corporate and employee giving prior to the official kickoff, has surpassed previous donation levels at comparable points in each of the past five campaigns.
“We’re taking to the streets this year, hoping to draw in more people, more enthusiasm and more dollars than ever before,” Stanley said. “It’s an awakening, a celebration. We hope you join us.”
About United Way of Delaware County
United Way of Delaware County, Indiana engages the community to improve lives by focusing resources on education, health, and financial stability. The nonprofit fights to create lasting change in community conditions. As the sponsoring organization for the community’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, United Way works to help children read at or above grade level by the end of their third-grade year. It is during this critical time that children transition from learning how to read, into readers who learn from what they have read. United Way strategically invests in local programs that provide services that contribute to children’s success with reading and ultimately aim to end generational poverty in Delaware County. Learn more at www.invitedtoliveunited.org.