Current campaign




Over 900 people attended the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee 2016-2017 Campaign Kick-off Breakfast at the Harborside Event Center on Wednesday. Community leaders and volunteers celebrated the start of the 60th United Way Campaign, and in honor of the 60th Campaign, there are 6 United Way Campaign Chairs including:

Linda Uhler – 1993 Campaign Chair             chairsthermometer
Gay Thompson – 1995 Campaign Chair
Lou Pontius – 1998 Campaign Chair
Larry Hart – 2006 Campaign Chair
Tom Uhler – 2011 Campaign Chair
Robert Wilson – 2012 Campaign Chair

United Way Board Chair, John Clinger welcomed the large crowd. “By your attendance you are confirming that you “Live United” and that you recognize the importance of ensuring that the United Way and the United Way network of partner agencies continue to be there for our community, providing critical services to those in need.”

Members of the local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts carried the flags and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Ezzy Sebastian of the Boys and Girls Clubs sang God Bless America.  Lieutenant Chris Doborwicz of The Salvation Army gave the invocation.

Linda Uhler, United Way Campaign Chair gave the crowd a history of our local United Way. “Founded in 1957, our United Way raised $66,000 that year under the Chairmanship of William Price.  Since its founding, our United Way has raised over $147 million!”

Campaign Chair Lou Pontius talked about the United Way Partner Agencies.  “I am truly passionate about the United Way and the local United Way network of 85 local agencies that help hundreds of thousands of people right here in our community! I am very positive about a successful campaign, but we must have your help to meet our campaign goal. Our Partner Agencies need this money to ensure vital programs will continue to help feed the hungry, help babies get off to a good start in life, and help seniors stay in their homes. With your help, we can change lives and truly make a difference,” Pontius concluded.

United Way Campaign Chair Tom Uhler of Uhler and Vertich Financial Planners talked about the United Way Allocations process that helps ensure that donors’ gifts to United Way are used efficiently and effectively.  He said, “At our United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee donors’ gifts are used very carefully, making sure that the programs United Way funds are truly what the community needs. I am very proud to announce that our United Way has received a 4 Star rating from Charity Navigator for four years in a row.” Charity Navigator is one of the most utilized evaluators of charities used to guide intelligent giving.

United Way Campaign Chair Rob Wilson of Enterprise Holdings talked about the importance of Leadership Giving.

Campaign Chair and Lee County Tax Collector, Larry Hart led the John Scanlon Auto Group Leadership Challenge and gave away a 2-year lease on a new car at the United Way Campaign Kick Off.

United Way Pacesetter Chairs Gay Thompson announced that the Pacesetter Companies – those who run their campaigns early to demonstrate United Way support and to encourage others – along with early leadership gifts, have already raised a total of $5,794,233. This represents 60% of the goal, the highest dollar amount ever reported at Kick Off and is a 4% increase over last year’s amount raised by Pacesetters.

“These results show that our community really does LIVE UNITED,” said Gay Thompson.

Publix again broke the $1.7 million mark by raising the most of any single company in the History of United Way. 

The top 10 Pacesetter companies include the following:

  1. Publix Super Markets $1,775,914
  2. Bonita Bay Group $445,416
  3. Chico’s FAS $250,000
  4. ENTERPRISE Holdings $202,500
  5. LCEC $200,000
  6. FineMark National Bank & Trust $137,853
  7. Lee Health $113,365
  8. BB&T Oswald Trippe and Company $111,328
  9. Lee County Government $86,500
  10. Sanibel Captiva Beach Resort $59,408

All money raised in the United Way campaign stays in the local community to help support the local human service network of partner agencies. United Way partner agencies like Harry Chapin Food Bank, Literacy Council Gulf Coast, Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center, Children’s Advocacy Center, Friendship Centers, and The Salvation Army serve a diverse range of needs in our community. The United Way advances the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for everyone in our community, focusing on education, income, and health, as they are the building blocks for a better quality of life.

In addition to raising funds for human service organizations in our community, the United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies, helping them to work together focusing on issues and solutions that continue to improve lives.

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has raised over $152 million since its first Kick Off. For more information please call United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee at (239) 433-2000 or visit