Local schools, businesses receive United Way awards

Published 8:30 pm Monday, May 16, 2022

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — A regional nonprofit has acknowledged local businesses and schools for their generosity and community contributions.  

The United Way of Southwest Michigan announced its annual Celebration awards for 2021 last week, with many being given to local organizations.  

Cassopolis Public Schools, Cass District Library, Woodlands Behavioral Healthcare Network, Southwestern Michigan College and Niles Precision Company won the Best Campaign Growth Award, given to companies or organizations that demonstrate outstanding achievement in employee education, engagement, and involvement with United Way resulting in a large increase in participation and dollars raised. 

Wolverine Mutual Insurance Company, K&M Machine-Fabricating and Niles Community Schools earned the Best Community Leadership Award, given to organizations that demonstrate a deep commitment to the community through their support of United Way and by encouraging other local businesses to get involved. The winners in this category demonstrate substantial increases in donations and employee participation, they have company leadership endorsement and support, assemble campaign committees, offer incentives to new givers and more. 

Tyler Automotive, of Niles, was named Medium Corporate Champion of the Year, while Wolverine Pipe Line Company – which has operations in Niles – won Small Corporate Champion of the Year. 

“This past year – a year full of challenges for so many – we nonetheless had another successful annual campaign, which helped fuel our ability this year to make the largest round of impact investments in the history of our organization,” said Anna Murphy, President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Michigan. “The ongoing strength of our campaigns, even through difficult times, is a testament to the leadership, commitment, and caring of everyone who contributes to make our community better. We are very thankful to all of them, and especially to this year’s exceptional award winners.” 

United Way raised $5,092,203 in 2021, plus $652,578 in in-kind donations, with $1,639,741 leveraged by United Way funding in state and federal grants. The 2,516 volunteers served 16,798 hours valued at $479,413. Total value delivered to the community was $7,944,757.