People had a hard time hearing what was said Wednesday at Union Station during the 2015 luncheon kickoff for the United Way of Greater Kansas City’s campaign. It is an old train station after all.
But the feeling of giving to others certainly was communicated quite clearly to more than 1,000 people in the audience. They picked it up through the body language of excitement that the speakers projected from the stage and on the big screen TVs.
“Every day in this community, someone wakes up feeling hopeless not knowing where to turn, not able to envision a better life,” campaign co-chair Roshann Parris told the audience toward the close of the luncheon. The United Way serves as the bridge to better health, financial stability and education for individuals and families.
The goal of the campaign is to raise more than the $35 million donated to the United Way last year. Alise Martiny, campaign co-chair with Parris, encouraged people to increase their pledge and asked that more area residents become donors.
John Quiñones, host of ABC's “What Would you Do?,” spoke of his life and career and how people, like the United Way, provided him with badly needed help and encouragement. He called the United Way “an amazing organization.”
“I can think of no organization that does so much,” Quiñones said.
During the program, Bert Berkley, chairman of the board of Tension Corp. of Kansas City, received the 2015 Adele Hall Spirit of Caring Award. JE Dunn Construction received the Corporate Pinnacle Award.
Brent Stewart, president of the United Way of Greater Kansas City, told the audience that gifts to the United Way are leveraged to increase what they can do for this community. Through a rigorous process they “help people become better than they are.”
About 1,600 companies and organizations will participate in this year’s United Way campaign. So will more than 60,000 donors.
The campaign runs through Dec. 3. For more information go to unitedwaygkc.org.