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United Way’s Spirit of the Community celebration honors local businesses

April 24, 2014 Way brought our community together for the Spirit of the Community Celebration on April 17th. This exciting and popular event honors the many ways that individuals and organizations are lending their time, talents, voices and hearts to create a better and stronger community.

United Way celebrated the incredible impact of our local corporations and businesses, both large and small, through the “Companies That Care” awards.

“Companies That Care” are not only characterized by the financial commitment they and their employees make, but their impact through community advocacy and volunteerism. They serve as the foundation for real change and continue the strong legacy of compassion for those in need.

Many that were recognized have long supported the mission of United Way, while others are fairly new to the family. Some are large corporations, while others are small family-run businesses. The common thread that runs throughout each of this year’s honorees is the promise to be an integral part of our future.

Beyond their commitment to successful employee and corporate campaigns, these organizations and their employees serve as campaign volunteers, loaned executives, Leadership Circle members, Young Leaders, and community volunteers. They sponsor local events, and find innovative ways to help reach out and engage our community. They are the soil in which seeds of growth are planted.

Twenty-three local organizations were honored, including: Ayre-Rhinehart Realtors, Chemical Bank, City of Midland, Consumers Energy, County of Midland, Deloitte, The Dow Chemical Company, Dow Corning Corporation, Fisher Contracting Company, Gavin & Associates LLC, Great Lakes Loons, Ieuter Insurance Group, McKay Press, Inc., Members First Credit Union, Midland Daily News, Midland Public Schools, MidMichigan Health, Northwood University, RE/Max of Midland, Styron, Three Rivers Corporation, Wolverine Bank, and Yeo & Yeo, PC CPA.

Each year, one organization from the Companies That Care is honored as the Caring Company of the Year. We are proud to announce that the 2014 Caring Company of the Year was awarded to Northwood University.

Providing service to the community has been one of the founding principles of Northwood University for 55 years. While their students come from across the state, country and globe, they are committed to impacting the community they call home.

Northwood launched the first local chapter of Student United Way this year. Guided by students in the Leadership Council, they worked to address critical issues around health, education and self-sufficiency.

Highlights for the year include sorting a truckload of shoes, painting at Family & Children’s Services, raking for area seniors, reading to school children and packaging thousands of bags of color for the United Way Community Colors 5k.

The faculty and staff set the tone and lead the charge with community engagement, serving on numerous non-profit boards, committees and advisory councils. Last year, they turned their campus upside down by inviting over 2,000 members of our community for the first annual Community Colors 5k run/walk.

“Northwood students, faculty and staff are committed to leading through service and bring the Live United message to life in everything they do,” shared Ann Fillmore, Executive Director of United Way of Midland County.

A brief video that showcases this year’s Companies That Care commitment to community is available at


United Way of Midland County works to advance the common good by focusing on the building blocks for a good life – Education, Health and Self-Sufficiency. They recruit the people and organizations that bring the passions, expertise and resources needed to get things done. They invite everyone to be a part of changing out community by giving, advocating and volunteering.

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