2016 Muskegon County Day of Caring

Day of Caring-2016 Kicks Off United Way’s Human Service Campaign:
Pacesetters’ Solid Early Results Mark 15% of Goal

MUSKEGON – Hundreds of volunteers came together Friday, September 9, at the Muskegon Farmers Market for United Way of the Lakeshore’s 2016 Muskegon County Day of Caring and campaign kickoff. The volunteers met for a breakfast at the Farmers Market, before heading out to work sites to address projects identified by nine local agencies: Kids Food Basket, The Salvation Army of Muskegon, Community enCompass, Pathfinders, Muskegon Area Land Bank Authority, Muskegon Area Transit System, Love INC, Mission for Area People, and Brookhaven Medical Facility.

Christine Robere, President and CEO, United Way of the Lakeshore said, “The agencies each provide services that help ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families meet their basic needs when issues arise. ALICE represents 1 in 4 Muskegon County families—approximately 15,000 households—led by men and women of all ages and races who get up each day to go to work, but are one unexpected expense away from crisis.” Robere added, “Every dollar from individual donors through the United Way annual workplace campaign goes to fund human service needs related to education, income stability, and health, right here in our community—while corporate and grant funding helps to cover our administrative costs, for which we thank those corporate sponsors.” “Today, we thank all of you and we salute each and every volunteer who gives their time, talent, and treasures as they care for our community and help to kick off the United Way Annual Campaign to fund human service needs in Muskegon County,” Robere underscored.

Erik Jepsen, Campaign Chairman for 2016, recognized the volunteer effort and said, “The Day of Caring also serves as the official launch of the United Way of the Lakeshore’s fundraising campaign with a goal to raise $2.27 million to invest in Muskegon County. To meet that goal, we expect 6,000 donors from 350 workplaces to participate this year, many who know the plight of ALICE and want to support United Way priorities that help kids succeed, improve healthy living and increase financial stability and independence.” Jepsen added, “We’re proud of the giving spirit in Muskegon County where over the past decade we have raised close to $30 million from individuals; this funding has helped to leverage an additional $10 million local matching dollars to invest in human service needs of area children and families.”

Jepsen said, “Based on our early results from Pacesetters, we can reach that goal to help ALICE.


Pacesetter campaigns begin about a month ahead of campaign kick- off to help “set the pace” for the entire campaign. Preliminary results from the 2016 Pacesetter campaign efforts are strong showing the combined Muskegon County pacesetter campaigns totaling close to 15% of the overall goal at $338,935.


The following Pacesetter companies all ran great campaigns, according to Jepsen:


  • ADAC Automotive raised $40,200 (27% increase over 2015)
  • Cannon-Muskegon raised $89,520 (12% over 2015)
  • First General Credit Union $7,183 (591% over last year)
  • Hooker DeJong Architects Engineers $4,176
  • Knoll raised $78,000
  • LifeCircles raised $4,823



  • McKenzie Price raised $1,926 (30% increase)
  • Muskegon Area ISD has raised $36,000 so far (11% increase)
  • Parmenter O’Toole raised $6,152
  • The ARC Muskegon raised $1,616 (more than 40% increase over 2015)
  • Tyler Sales raised $11,617 so far
  • United Way Human Service Complex raised $11,617 (9% increase over 2015)
  • West Michigan Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 174 raised $2,781 thus far


Jepsen also introduced key volunteers who are assisting with this year’s campaign. Loaned Executives include:

    • Debbie Anderson, Child Abuse Council
    • Steve Barnard, Wastewater Management System, Muskegon County
    • Jessica Chandler, Merrill Lynch
    • Alex Conrad, Y-Knot Embroidery & Screenprinting
    • Jennifer Grinnell, LifeCircles
    • Stacy Hollenbeck, Huntington
    • Brian Kammerzell, Comerica Bank
    • Steve Keglovitz, Community Volunteer
    • Jackie Knowlton, Fifth Third Bank
    • Cyndi Langlois, Muskkegon Community College
    • Jeff Malec, Malec Engineering Solutions
    • Lauren Meldrum, HealthWest
    • Lori O’Brien, Community Volunteer
    • Kim Parmer, Cannon Muskegon
    • Ben Reider, Parmenter O’Toole
    • Doniele Routt, Nowak Machined Products
    • Farrah Staff, Edward Jones
    • Skyler Vaughn, CWC Textron


The Campaign Cabinet includes:

    • Alcoa Employees – Jackie Johnson, Christie Hill & Chelsea McEntaffer
    • Mercy Health Partner – Blaire Moreau & Dave Webber
    • Manufacturing – Erik Gentzkow (Cannon Muskegon) & Brendan Bolhuis (Beacon Recycling)
    • Construction/Utilities – Rich Houtteman (Consumers Energy)
    • Education – John Severson (Muskegon Area ISD)
    • Human Service agencies/churches –Penny Albertie & Mike Mitchell (American Red Cross)
    • Professionals – Josh Reece (Parmenter O’Toole)
    • FIRE (Finance/Insurance/Real Estate) – Brett Burza (Raymond James)
    • Commercial/Retail – Jonathan Pittman (Muskegon Mall)
    • Labor Chair – Bob Barnett (UA 174)
    • Loaned Executives & training – Jessica Chandler (Merrill Lynch)
    • Leadership Circle – Brad and Janice Hilleary (Webb Chemical)
    • Tocqueville – Jim & Kristine Tyler (Tyler Sales)
    • Retirees – Bob Carter

Individuals may donate securely online to help working families at www.unitedwaylakeshore.org  Any workplace that would like to have an employee campaign, please contact Nancy Robbins, Resource Development Director, United Way of the Lakeshore, at (231) 332-4003 or nancy@unitedwaylakeshore.org

Newaygo County and Oceana County Day of Caring and kickoff for campaigns in those counties are scheduled later in the fall.

United Way of the Lakeshore is uniting to inspire change and build thriving communities. Our Bold Goal – 10,000 more working families meet their basic needs by 2025. For more information, contact United Way of the Lakeshore at 231-332-4047 or visit www.unitedwaylakeshore.org