United Way of Kenosha County Celebrates 100 Years with Reflection, Recognition, and Revitalization at the Historic Centennial Jubilee

December 1, 2023 (Kenosha, WI) — United Way of Kenosha County (UWKC), Unifying Voices, Amplifying Impact, recently marked its historic 100th anniversary with a black-tie affair celebrated as the Centennial Jubilee: A Night to Celebrate. The event, held on Saturday, November 11, brought together more than 220 esteemed guests, donors, and partners — a testament to the organization’s century-long commitment to serving Kenosha County.

“Our nonprofit’s beginnings were rooted in supporting our community's current needs, and we stand with deep pride that this giving legacy, which started in 1923, continues to ring true today,” says Carolynn Friesch, Chief Executive Officer at UWKC. “We are infinitely grateful for the enduring dedication of our donors, volunteers, and partners who have helped shape the landscape of philanthropy in our community over the past 100 years. As we look to the future, we also invite you to join in on the energetic momentum following our Centennial Jubilee as we uphold a shared vision to transform lives.”


The recipients of the UWKC Centennial "Celebrate UNITED" Awards were acknowledged for their unwavering dedication and commitment to our community. Awards were presented by Mitch Ferraro, Carolynn Friesch, and Jacqueline Morris.
Top, left to right: Sue Mielke, Robert (Bill) Roberts, and Juan Torres, on behalf of Patricia Demos
Bottom, left to right: Dezarrea Johnson-Kindle, Kimberly Molinaro, and Michael Bond

During the presentation, UWKC recognized its Centennial Celebrate UNITED Award Winners, which included:

Legacy of Caring Award: Sue Mielke
For an unwavering commitment to our community and for exemplifying a spirit of compassion and selflessness with nearly two decades of service specifically to UWKC’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) efforts

Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award: William (Bill) Roberts
For more than 30 years of dedication to our community and for exemplifying the true spirit of Living UNITED in their day-to-day actions and involvement

Legacy of Giving Award: Patricia Demos, accepted by Juan Torres
For playing a vital role in paving the legacy of giving within our organization, both in volunteer involvement and financial contributions, and for having made a significant and lasting impact on countless individuals and families in our community

Legacy of Giving Trailblazer Award: Dezarrea Johnson-Kindle
For exemplifying visionary leadership skills, a pioneering spirit, and a commitment to enduring a legacy of transformational giving and for her instrumental enthusiasm for our mission, and for our community

Esteemed Corporate Contributor Award: Kenosha Beef/Birchwood Foods
For representing corporate excellence and a devotion to community enrichment who’s giving legacy and partnership of more than 50 years has served a vital role in creating a stronger and more vibrant community

Centennial Jubilee Partner: Snap-on Incorporated
In recognition of an extraordinary commitment to corporate social responsibility and a dedication to making a meaningful difference in the community

“Kenosha has provided the energy for Snap-on’s success since 1930,” says Michael Bond, Director, Community Relations at Snap-on and UWKC board member. “Our support of the United Way of Kenosha County through the years has continued to be an important component of how we strengthen the communities where our associates reside and raise their families.”

The Centennial Jubilee was made possible through the generous support of our sponsors, whose commitment to UWKC’s mission has been instrumental to the organization’s success. United Way of Kenosha County extends heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Carthage College, Johnson Financial Group, NextHome Signature Group, Snap-on Incorporated, Aurora Health Care, Gateway Technical College, Kenosha FiberCity®️, Educators Credit Union, Community State Bank, and Herzing University for their unwavering support.

In addition to the event sponsors, over 100 other donors and partners contributed to the success of the event, underscoring the depth of the community's dedication to positively impacting the lives of others. Their support, and that of many others, has allowed UWKC to thrive and continue its vital work for the past century.

Lastly, the Centennial Jubilee would not have been possible without the dedication of volunteers. Twenty-five event-day volunteers, including Youth as Resources students, worked tirelessly to ensure the event ran smoothly and created an unforgettable experience for all attendees. Eighteen committee members played a pivotal role in planning and organizing the event. For more than 18 months, these committee members devoted their time and expertise to putting on an event that not only celebrated the community’s rich philanthropic history but also elevated the organization's vision as it looks forward to the future.

While the celebration has been a momentous occasion, and a historic milestone to remember, United Way of Kenosha County is still working to reach their fundraising goal of $50 thousand dollars. This transformative gift will help the nonprofit and its partners create an equitable Kenosha County where all individuals are healthy, educated, and economically stable.

Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, United Way of Kenosha County has raised more than $42 thousand dollars as part of its Centennial Fundraising Campaign to date. However, we call to YOU with your giving heart, to help us bridge the gap in our funding. When you make a gift, you join in on our legacy and help ensure that our 100th anniversary becomes a milestone to remember with a positive impact proven by the many years of service to come. United Way of Kenosha County thanks you in advance for exemplifying your commitment to strengthening and uplifting Kenosha County.

United Way of Kenosha County remains committed to its mission of connecting diverse voices and maximizing resources, and with the continued support of the community, the organization looks forward to the next century of making a positive impact.

In the coming months, there will be many other ways that one can get involved in United Way of Kenosha County initiatives, including Read Across Kenosha on Friday, March 1 and a community-wide day of service coming in June 2024.

To donate, learn more, or get involved visit: kenoshaunitedway.org/donate-100 or contact Marisa Markowski at mmarkowski@kenoshaunitedway.org.

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