by Rynn Day
On Wednesday, Nov. 19, United Way of Wyandotte County presented its annual meeting with over 200 guests attending a luncheon at the Jack Reardon Convention Center.
Events were kicked off with the presentation of new board members and a report on United Way of Wyandotte County’s activities over the last year.
United Way of Wyandotte County focuses on meeting basic needs, nurturing children and families, and promoting health and quality of life. Through their partner agencies and programs, over 39,000 needs were met in Wyandotte County in the 2013-2014 program year.
Irene Caudillo, president-CEO of El Centro, Inc., addressed the crowd emphasizing the importance of the partnership El Centro, Inc. has with United Way of Wyandotte County as one of the 29 United Way partner agencies.
“Together with United Way, we are assisting children and families in our community by providing preschool education, creating healthier individuals and building financially stable families,” Caudillo said. She continued her remarks by saying, “with United Way we are making Wyandotte County a better place for all.”
Following Caudillo’s remarks United Way board member and former Bonner Springs Mayor Clausie Smith, presented the Spirit of Caring award posthumously to Charles Berkel, founder of Berkel and Company, Inc., community supporter, and longtime United Way leadership donor.
The Spirit of Caring award is presented annually to a member of the community who has shown long standing support and passion for the betterment of the Wyandotte County community.
Alan Roach, president-CEO of Berkel and Company, accepted the Spirit of Caring award on behalf of the Berkel family.
The event concluded with a keynote address from William Kulhanek, the plant manager at the General Motors Fairfax Plant. Kulhanek spoke of the thriving partnership between United Way of Wyandotte County and General Motors.
“In addition to producing award winning vehicles, GM and its employees are dedicated to improving local communities,” Kulhanek said. “Thanks to the GM Foundation and our partnership United Way of Wyandotte County, we are able to make a difference here in the community in which our employees work and live.”
To find out more about United Way of Wyandotte County or to view the 2013-2014 annual report, visit www.unitedway-wyco.org.