United Way of Kenosha County Announces the 2022 Celebrate United Award Winners
09/15/2022

The Annual Celebrate United Awards recognize the individuals and partners who exemplified the caring power of our community throughout their workplace campaign.

Online PR News – 15-September-2022 – Kenosha, WI – United Way of Kenosha County (UWKC), mobilizing the caring power of our community, is honored by the commitment of community partners countywide. Through the United Way Workplace Campaign, organizations work together alongside UWKC to create a thriving community where everyone has access to and participates in education, financial resources, and quality health care. The Workplace Campaign unites employees within a business or organization to give back to the community where they live, work and/or play in.

The Annual Celebrate United Awards recognize and thank the individuals and partners who exemplified the caring power of our community throughout their workplace campaign. UWKC is excited to now present the 2022 Celebrate United Award Winners!

Live United Award Winner: Festival Foods
Award Accepted by Stacie Windel, Human Resources Manager/Market Lead at Skogen’s Festival Foods - Somers
Festival Foods has joined forces to support United Way statewide for more than 30 years. Their local support stems first from corporate leadership but remains strong due to their complete community dedication. In Kenosha County, the grocery store’s three locations: Kenosha, Somers and Paddock Lake rally together year-round and countywide to support our mission. Employees are asked to get involved via a charity registration form on their very first day of employment, fueling a company culture that embraces giving back right from the start. Additionally, staff run and operate their “Brat Barn” periodically throughout summer, selling hamburgers and brats outside their store with proceeds benefitting UWKC.

“To be able to give to an organization that vets where that money goes, and that so much stays in the communities where our stores are, I think that is a big deal and why we partner,” says Stacie Windel, human resources manager at Festival Foods. “It’s trusted and we know where that money is going. It’s helping our community, and not only that, but in turn, helping some of our associates who are in need of assistance that is provided by United Way.”

Thank you, Festival Foods, for Living UNITED by choosing to improve our community and make an impact day-in and day-out.

Shining Star Award Winner: Birchwood Foods / Kenosha Beef International
Award Accepted by Kimberly Molinaro, Employee Health and Safety & Corporate COVID Coordinator at Birchwood Foods
Birchwood Foods is a longstanding, family-owned business who’s support towards United Way began with the company’s founder, Frank Vignieri, in 1936. Today, Birchwood’s third-generation leader, Dennis Vignieri, upholds his family’s values of supporting and empowering our community. Recently, as the team looked to ramp up their employee health and education efforts, they turned to increasing their support and overall contribution to United Way of Kenosha County because of how closely our mission aligns with their internal initiatives. Additionally, like Festival Foods, employees are encouraged to donate from day one on the job via a payroll deduction.

We thank Birchwood Foods for their continuous commitment and recognize the whole team as SHINING STARs for taking the lead in community dedication.

Spirit of Caring Award Winner: BeLEAF Survivors, Inc.
Award Accepted by Karen Fetherston, Executive Director at BeLEAF Survivors
BeLEAF Survivors, Inc. is a nonprofit dedicated to providing a safe and compassionate environment to promote hope and healing by lifting, empowering, advocating and fighting for survivors and a culture of consent. UWKC partners with BeLEAF in local efforts through our Community Investment program. We work together year-round to lift each other’s programs and local initiatives. What we’re recognizing today, however, is how their team also manages an “award-winning” workplace campaign. In the last year, not only did their team contribute individual donations to United Way, but their campaign also included a successful fundraiser in partnership with the Tiny Cakery, which raised over 500 dollars.

All of us at United Way of Kenosha County are impressed with BeLEAF Survivors’ creativity and think their campaign efforts represent the absolute true spirit of our community — in both service to and collaboration with.

Volunteer Person of the Year: Bill Roberts
It’s no secret, volunteers are the backbone of most successful organizations. At United Way of Kenosha, we are no different. Bill Roberts is one of those people who has helped UWKC behind the scenes and on the frontlines — for more than 30 years. In the past year, Bill has served as a comforting constant to new staff members as they transitioned to their roles. Bill provided much-needed insights on processes, programs, and partnerships. He also lends a helping hand around the office, to the Readers Are Leaders and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs, and on the Community Investment Committee. In truth, there likely isn’t a part of our organization that Bill has not been a part of one way or another, and for that, we are grateful. Thank you for all your time, hard work and sacrifices, Bill!

“We appreciate and thank each one of our partners who remain dedicated to helping people thrive right here in Kenosha County,” says Carolynn Friesch, chief executive officer at UWKC. “It is a great honor to work with, and among, them.”

The 2022-2023 campaign is currently in progress. To a workplace campaign at your business and talk more with you about the ways we can work together to LIVE UNITED. Contact Marisa Markowski at mmarkowski@kenoshaunitedway.org or (262) 671-2208 or visit: https://www.kenoshaunitedway.org/