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2012 / 2013 Annual Report

A New Vision For Real Lasting Change United Way of Citrus County  

TOTAL RESOURCES United Way of Citrus County was responsible for raising and managing nearly $807,000 throughout Citrus County in fiscal year 2012-13. Known as “Total Resources”, it includes dollars raised through workplace giving campaigns, special events, and other donor related activities. It also includes monies managed through the Community Alliance of Citrus County, Emergency Food & Shelter programs, utility assistance programs, and gifts in-kind. These, combined with other programs, services and resources, make United Way of Citrus County the largest supporter of health and human services agencies.

Raising and managing nearly

$807,000 throughout Citrus County in fiscal year 2012-13. 2 



Dozens of attentive eyes watched as County Attorney, Richard Wesch took his seat in front of a 1st grade classroom at Crystal River Primary School. Wesch and 35 other “celebrity readers” spent time reading to over

500 students as part of the school’s 1st Annual Celebrity Read-In. It’s part of the ongoing United Way effort to recruit volunteers to read to, tutor and mentor Citrus County Children. “I absolutely loved it!” said Wesch of the event. “Early literacy intervention is critical for a child’s success in every subject, including math and science” said United Way CEO, Amy Meek. The United Way partnered with Altrusa to recruit local celebrity readers. 4th grade teacher Gail Bockairo worked with her fellow teachers to organize 32 time slots for the celebrity readers. “I have received several emails from staff members that were so impressed with our 1st Annual Celebrity Read-A-Thon. Thank you!”



Board of Directors

A WORD FROM OUR CEO It’s been one year since I began my role as CEO of the United Way of Citrus County. This year has been an exciting journey of making bold steps to bringing Real, Lasting Change to the lives of those in need in our community. Short term fixes will never solve complex problems. That is why our Board is fully committed to utilizing our resources to address the root causes of social need and maximize our impact in Citrus County. Improving lives is our primary goal. We appreciate your support and your collective efforts to make our community a better home for all.

President Marie M. Straight Sr. Vice President Area Manager SunTrust Bank “The United Way delivers critical services. I volunteer to make an impact on the health and well-being of our community.”

President Elect Ray Chirayath

Amy Meek

Owner Data Care Solutions, LLC " Because we address pressing short “ term issues with a view to resolving them in the long term."

Treasurer Rocky Hensley Sr. Vice President CenterState Bank “United Way of Citrus County assists so many in a positive way, future generations will be effected by the changes & improvements that families take advantage of today with guidance from United Way’s programs & services !”

Secretary Debbie Muir Manager Tally Ho Vacations “The United Way not only supports many local agencies, but enhances the programs and educates the community for a positive direction in the future. This is just one of my reasons that I support our United Way of Citrus County.”

A W O R D F R O M O U R 2 0 1 2 / 2 0 1 3 C A M P A I G N C O- C H A I R S — M I K E & R E B E CC A B A Y S Growing up in a small Mid‐Western town, we knew the annual United Way fund  drive had begun when the large thermometer billboard was erected in our town  hall.  It seemed everyone was involved and when we reached our goal we had a  community celebra on at Tom Sawyer Park.    The United Way and the support they provided to our community was part of our  lives. That has con nued throughout my life through my business contribu ons  to the United Way.  Today, I have a complete new respect and understanding of  what the United Way stands for and what it means to my community.   When Rebecca and I were asked to co‐chair this year, we were both honored and  apprehensive.  Sherriff Dawsy assured me that I wouldn’t be able to “mess up”  because Amy and her staff wouldn’t let me.  They have truly been amazing to  work with.   It had been a fantas c experience and the apprecia on I have for the United Way  has been amplified.  The dedica on of Amy, staff and the board in iden fying  specific needs  within our community and the assistance they provide to those  organiza ons, in both funds and  me has made me proud to be a part of the  United Way family.   Sincerely, 

It has been an honor to serve as co‐chair for the  Citrus County United Way this year.  Although I  have always supported the United Way, I have  gained a new apprecia on for what it means to  the ci zens of Citrus County and the many com‐ munity service organiza ons that receive the  United Way support.   The implementa on of iden fying our commu‐ nity needs and maintaining benchmarks to as‐ sure the accountability of the programs is an  excellent way to validate the impact to our  county.  Furthermore, knowing that 99% of the  funds raised in Citrus County stay in Citrus Coun‐ ty, supporters of the United Way can be secure  that there dona ons will benefit our own.   Again, I thank you for this opportunity to share  in this year’s success!  Sincerely,   Rebecca Bays  

Mike Bays 

Ricky Barlow Success  

Resident Director Financial Advisor Merrill Lynch “I support The United Way because I see direct support and partnership with our agencies which leads to transformation of lives and lasting changes to better our community. “




Ned Barry

Mike and Chris ne* thought they’d always be secure and never planned ahead. They were comfortable in Citrus  County where they are raising their two young children. Chris ne, a stay at home mom, and Mike, a night janitor,  worked hard to achieve their middle‐class lifestyle, but found it increasingly difficult to maintain a er a series of  economic setbacks.     Falling further behind, Chris ne was unsuccessful in finding steady employment and having a hard  me juggling  all of their bills on a limited income.     Determined to find a solu on, Chris ne came to the United Way’s Earn It! Keep It! Save It! Workshop. “I was  hopeless  not  knowing  what  I  should  do,”  Chris ne  said,  recalling  the  morning  she  asked  the  budget  coach  for  help.  “I explained that I have a husband and two kids living on one income.”     What  appeared  to  be  a  last  resort  turned  into  a  fresh  start  for  the  family,  par cularly  Chris ne  who  a er  the  event  with  her  renewed  confidence  was  able  to  save  $50  per  month  and  landed  a  steady  part  me  job.  “The  Earn It! Keep It! Save It!  program gave me a chance to think about my finances for the first  me ever. It al‐ lowed me not only a chance to set goals but focus on ways to accomplish them. The budget calendar made the  process very clear”, Chris ne told her budget coach at the follow up event. With her new part‐ me job and re‐ cently developed skills form Earn It! Keep It! Save It!, the family is now striving to reach their short term goal  of a be er Christmas and  long term goal of homeownership and crea ng a sound financial future.     * To protect the client’s idenƟty, neither their name nor photo have been used.


Financial Advisor Raymond James & Associates “United Way of Citrus County is in an ideal position to solve systemic problems by bringing the full range of governmental, school, public, and private Citrus County resources together to solve – rather than treat – community problems.”

Richard Bradtmuller Store Manager Publix Supermarkets “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail"

Lace Blue-McLean Owner Inverness Yoga & Wellness Center “I support the United Way of CC simply because they have figured it out!!! How to teach someone to fish instead of feeding them helps the individual become a more productive citizen of the community.”

Bill Catto Assistant District Attorney State’s Attorney’s Office

“I support the United Way because it is working to solve the crucial problems in our community today .”  

Board of Directors Theressa Foster Owner West Central Solutions “Citrus United Way has developed a vision for the future to be more than just a resource but the spark that ignites long term change in our community!”

Larry Gamble Store Manager Wal-Mart Super Center

“By giving to United Way I know the funds and time go where the need is the most.” Buddy Grant Commander Citrus County Sherriff’s Dept. “United Way is an excellent vehicle to help meet the many needs of our neighbors here in Citrus County.”






Susan* just  wants  to  stand  on  her  own  two  feet.  That’s  not  much  to  ask  considering  the  dozens  of  years  she  spent  in  front  of  a  stove  in  a  Midwestern  School  District  preparing  thousands  of  meals  for  school  children.  Susan  never  graduated  high  school  which  made  it  tough  to  find  employment.  Eventually  Susan  resorted  to  stating  that  she  gradu‐ ated high school on her applications. She finally landed a job as a cafe‐ teria  worker.  Susan  felt  she  was  constantly  looking  over  her  shoulder  not  knowing  if  her  employer  would  find  out  she  did  not  graduate  from  high  school.  A  series  of  events  landed  Susan  in  Citrus  County.  She  was  looking  for  work  and  came  up against  the  barrier  again  of  not  graduat‐ ing  high  school.  Susan  decided  it  was  time  to  make  a  change.  She  did  not want to have to look over her shoulder anymore. Susan enrolled in  the GED program at WTI. Through the process Susan learned she would  be eligible to apply for the United Way’s  Learn  to  Earn  program. Susan was so relieved to know  she  would  finally  have  the  support  she  needed  to  succeed.  “ Learn  to  Earn  gave  me  the  extra 

Mike Hall

help I  needed  to  be  successful.  I  did  not  have  to  worry  about  how  I  was  going  to  pay  for  gas  to 

President/ CEO Nature Coast EMS “I am honored to serve with a caring team dedicated to improving the quality of life in Citrus County.”

get to  school.  I  could  just  focus  on  studying”  Susan  told  her  fellow  classmates.    “ Learn  to  Earn 

Dr. Vernon Lawter Vice President Citrus Campus College of Central Florida “The United Way is a positive change agent in our community, committed to improving lives. “

not only  encourages  me  but  holds  me  accountable  for  my  actions.”  Susan  recently  attended  an‐ other  United  Way  event  called  Land  that  Job .  Susan  recalls,  ”This  event  boosted  my  confi‐ dence.  The  one‐  on‐one  interview  coaching  provided  me  with  the  feedback  I  needed  to  be  suc‐ cessful  in  an  interview”.    Shortly  after  the  event  Susan  landed  a  job .  “This  time  being  able  to  be  truthful  and  able  to  tell  the  interviewer  I  was  working  on  my  GED  and  would  be  graduating  in  May, 2013.”  Thanks to the support from United Way Susan is standing strong.     * To protect the client’s idenƟty, neither her name nor photo have been used.

Finding a New Beginning When your  needs  are  met  and  you  have  a  place  to  live,  it’s  difficult  to  imagine  fellow  citi‐ zens  within  just  a  few  miles  of  your  secure  home  are  living  in  the  woods  not  having  enough  to  eat.  Unfortunately,  it’s  a  daily  fact  of  life  for  Josh*.  Josh  wanted  better  for  his  life,  but  it  had  taken  a  couple  of  wrong  turns.  Josh  was  determined  to  get  his  life  back  on  track. Josh knew the pathway out of homelessness would be getting his GED. Josh enrolled  at WTI and would walk eight miles one way to school each day. Josh never missed a day of  class. When United Way launched their  Learn  to  Earn  program Josh applied. At first he  was  reserved  not  letting  them  know  too  much.  After  working  with  the  Learn  to  Earn  representatives   and gaining trust in the program Josh opened up. “I told them what I real‐

Success   Story  

Connie McNeilly RN/Director of Health Care Service Interim Health Care “United Way - it's the very best method for touching SO many people with your donation."

Gerry Mulligan Publisher Citrus County Chronicle “United Way uses contributions from thousands to make important things happen in our community. It provides accountability, leadership and has impact.”

ly needed was  a  bike.  It  would  be  so  much  easier  to  get  back  and  forth  from  school”.  Josh 

Dr. Eloy Nunez

was meeting his goals and the  Learn  to  Earn  program provided Josh a bike, tent, warm 

Professor St. Leo College “I support United Way because I know that my money and my time will go to the right places.”

clothing, medical care, and other basic essentials. “I was so overwhelmed by joy to receive  these  things.  It  meant  someone  believed  me  in  for  the  first  time  in  a  very  long  time”.  Josh  improved  his  life  once  more  by  obtaining  a  job  close  by  as  he  finally  had  reliable  transportation. “For once I see a light at the end of the tunnel.” Josh is on target to gradu‐ ate  in  May,  2014.  Thanks  to  the  Learn to Earn  program,  Josh  is  Finding  a  New  Beginning  and  a  pathway to self‐sustainability.    *To protect the client’s idenƟty, neither his name nor photo have been used.


Cathy Pearson Assistant County Administrator Citrus County BOCC “United Way truly "unites"our community to improve education, financial stability, and improving our citizens health. “

Don Taylor Executive Director Economic Development Council “I support the United Way as they are excellent stewards for targeted campaign fund allocations. “  

Board of Directors Tom Thomas President Weber Glass “I support United Way because United Way effectively analyzes community needs and provides funding to local service agencies that help meet those needs.”

Linda VanAllen President VanAllen Insurance Agency “I support United Way because of the focus on helping people try and make positive lifestyle changes and assisting many different agencies reach out to those in our community who need assistance.”

Ellen Zane Financial Advisor Wells Fargo “I serve on the United Way Board because I truly believe the United Way is the best vehicle to support and assist people in our community needing assistance. By helping individuals make a difference in their own lives by learning new job and life skills, we build a stronger community for everyone.”


The opportunity to serve as a volunteer for the United  Way's Earn It, Keep It, Save It program in Citrus County  opened a door in my life that proved most rewarding.     The chance to offer suggestions, and a plan, to county  residents that will help them take control of their individ‐ ual financial lives, and even start saving accounts, will  benefit all  members of our community.   Another proac‐ tive service of The United Way. 

Richard Eliasen

Find the volunteer opportunity that’s right for you  through United Way’s Volunteer Program!  Whether  you’re interested in mentoring a young person, offering  your skills as a financial advisor, or spending an a er‐ noon with a senior, you’ve come to the right place.        Go online today and make the pledge to volunteer. 

Lamb Family Our family and employees support  the United Way of Citrus County      because it is the most effec ve and  efficient way of suppor ng health and  human services in our community.  Steve, Jewel, Justin,


Amanda & Levitt

Volunteer Hours = 1478

To improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of the people of Citrus County through involvement with targeted community initiatives. 8 

United Way of Citrus County  
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