ELKHART — The United Way of Elkhart County 7th Annual Awards Ceremony on Thursday recognized individuals and companies who made an impact in the community this past year.

For 97 years, United Way of Elkhart County has been fighting for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in the community. The celebration at the Lerner Theater on Thursday highlighted the great things that happen when the community “lives united,” organizers said. 

L&W Engineering was awarded the New Corporate Friend Award for conducting its first workplace campaign.

Hero Awards were presented to companies that gave on a level 20% or greater than the previous year.

The following companies formed United Way’s largest list yet of Hero Awards: 1st Source Bank, Barger Packaging, Everence, Family Christian Development Center, Gulf Stream Coach, Kennametal Stellite, Manchester Tank, Meijer, Quality Drive-Away, Supreme: A Wabash National Company, Tom Naquin, ADEC , Barletta Boat Company, Elkhart County Government, Fairmont Homes, Martin’s Store No. 2, Martin’s Store No. 15, Martin’s Store No. 17, Middlebury Community Schools, Oaklawn, Robert Weed, Smoker Craft, Barnes & Thornburg, Boys and Girls Clubs of Elkhart County, Elkhart City Offices, Green Stream Company, Horizon Bank, Rieth-Riley, Walnut Hill Early Childhood Center, Wa-Nee Community Schools, Welch Packaging and Mutual Bank.

The Live United Award was presented to Mark Podgorski, who exemplifies what it means to “Live United.”

Through the hard work of management and the generous support of employees, 10 companies raised approximately $960,000 to support families, children, teens and older adults, and those who are disabled, ill or discouraged – to bring hope, healing and help.

The following companies received the Top 10 Award: Keystone RV, Nibco, Elkhart General Hospital, Goshen Health, Utilimaster, LaSalle Bristol, Smoker Craft, Thor Industries Corporate Office,  Welch Packaging Group and Supreme: A Wabash National Company.

Arthur Decio presented the newest Toqueville members, Scott and Kimberlee Welch, with the Lalique Crystal Toqueville Award.

Rex Martin presented Liz Borger with the second annual Alice A. Martin Woman Philanthropist of the Year Award.

The final award presented was The Arthur J. Decio Volunteer of the Year Award. Decio gave the award to Matt Zimmerman for being an outstanding example of what it means to generously give, advocate, and volunteer in the community.

The luncheon concluded with a bit of audience participation and a heartwarming story from a flood victim. Katie Stump who was severely affected by the floods of February/March 2018 told the audience of more than 300 people her story and about the help she received thanks to United Way donors.

The event was sponsored by Arthur J. Decio, Robert Deputy, Frank Martin, the Martin family and Old National Bank.

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