Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orange County employees gathered for the County’s 2017 Heart of Florida United Way(HFUW) Campaign’s Victory Celebration Luncheon on Dec. 6 at the Orange County Convention Center.
For more than 90 years, United Way has been at the forefront of health and human care services in the Central Florida region. Every year, HFUW gives Orange County employees an opportunity to give back to the community – an example of Orange County’s “neighbors helping neighbors” philosophy. This year, County employees raised a total of $553,114 for the local nonprofit, surpassing their fundraising goal of $500,000.
The theme for this year’s luncheon was inspired by Star Wars, complete with characters from the 501st Legion, which gained much excitement from guests attending the event.
“Each year, the campaigns are even more energetic and the motivation to raise money is even greater,” Mayor Jacobs said. “ This is definitely one of the events that I look forward to each year not only because it showcases the generosity and caring hearts of our Orange County family, but also because it celebrates the great work of United Way.”
Orange County departments and individuals were also recognized for their top money raising efforts, including:
1st Place: County Administration
2nd Place: Utilities
3rd Place: Community Environmental and Development Services
4th Place: Family Services
5th Place: Convention Center
Orange County employees and constitutional offices including the Comptroller, Clerk of Courts, Supervisor of Elections and the Sherriff’s Office hosted more than 100 special events since the beginning of the fundraising campaign in June.
“We brought to close a terrific employee giving campaign with our celebration today. It’s rewarding to be part of a team that really comes together around supporting our community,” said Orange County Community, Environmental and Development Services Director and campaign chair Jon Weiss. “The passion, heart and commitment of our County employees is inspiring. I couldn’t be prouder of our team!”
“Orange County Government’s commitment to creating a thriving community is inspiring,” President and CEO of Heart of Florida United Way Jeff Hayward said. “”or the people who work under Mayor Jacobs’ leadership, it’s more than a job – it’s a passion. United Way is grateful for the support to create better lives for Orange County residents.”
HFUW has been involved in Central Florida since 1939. Since the beginning, the organization has been carrying on the tradition of helping those in need in Orlando, but has since changed its focus to prevention with a philosophy called Investing in Results. With a goal targeted toward finding a way to prevent problems affecting the community, HFUW is dedicated to focusing on education, income, health and basic needs.
Photo Caption: Orange County Youth and Family Services Division Manger Dr. Tracy Salem, Heart of Florida United Way President and CEO Jeff Hayward, Orange County Community, Environmental, and Development Services Director Jon Weiss, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orange County Corrections Department Deputy Chief of Administration Services Paulette Julien and Orange County Administrator Ajit Lalchandani present a check to Heart of Florida United Way during the organizations Victory Celebration Luncheon.