United Way of Southwest Michigan celebrates a record 2018 campaign

At UWSM’s annual Celebration at Lake Michigan College, the organization revealed it raised $4,282,874 last year.


United Way of Southwest Michigan gathered with around 500 guests from the community at the Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College on Thursday, March 14 for this year’s annual Celebration, reflecting on another successful campaign.


The event was hosted by Jonny Reinhardt of 98.3 The Coast and Matt Malone of 97.5 Y-Country—who made a surprising and entertaining entrance, after their “misadventures” getting to the venue, somewhat “late,” were captured on video for the audience to watch. 


One of the highlights of the evening was the revealing of the 2018 campaign total of $4,282,874. In 2017, the nonprofit also had a historic campaign season, raising $4,261,541.


As the largest non-governmental funder of health and human services in our local community, United Way of Southwest Michigan stewards millions of dollars and tens of thousands of volunteer hours every year. In 2018:


  • Almost 10,000 children were enrolled in high quality early childhood programs.

  • Almost 500 people received job skills training. And of those who got a job, 89% of them were still employed one year later.

  • Almost 6,000 people were given better access to healthcare services and supports. And 84% of them increased their mental or emotional health.

  • Almost 350,000 meals were provided, and close to 20,000 nights of shelter were provided.


Importantly, the many organizations and individuals who helped make the 2018 campaign a success were recognized with the following awards:


Best Campaign Growth Awards

City of Niles

Spectrum Health Lakeland

Tyler Automotive

United Federal Credit Union

Watervliet Public Schools

Woodlands Behavioral Healthcare Network


Best Community Leadership Awards

Berrien County Cancer Service, Inc.

Gast Manufacturing, Inc.


Plante Moran 

St. Joseph Public Schools

Wolverine Pipe Line Co.


Best Year-Round Partnership Awards

Berrien Regional Education Service Agency (RESA)

Competitive Edge

1st Source Bank

Lake Michigan College

LOGAN Autism Learning Center

Pri Mar Petroleum, Inc.


Corporate Champion of the Year - Large Business



Corporate Champion of the Year - Medium Business

United Parcel Service


Corporate Champion of the Year - Small Business



Employee Campaign Chair of the Year - Large Business

Jeff Blake - United Federal Credit Union

Dalry Payne - Andrews University


Employee Campaign Chair of the Year - Medium Business

Nia Ammeson & Ivan Price - Martin's Super Market, Stevensville


Employee Campaign Chair of the Year - Small Business

Lorraine Day - Mid-West Family Broadcasting


Inspired Giving Award

Martin's Super Markets


Campaign Cabinet Choice Awards

Harbor Graphics Corporation

K&M Machine-Fabricating, Inc.

Niles Precision Company, Inc.


David J. Weichhand Award

Honor Credit Union


Whirlpool Community Commitment Award

Whirlpool Corporation


Impact Cabinet Choice Award

Lewis Cass Intermediate School District


Excellence in Innovation Award

The LINK - Kinexus


Excellence in Impact Award

Berrien County Sheriff's Office Emergency Management Department


Excellence in Collaboration Awards

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Michigan 2-1-1 



Indiana Michigan Power Company, an AEP Company

Andy Janson 2017-2018 Board Chair





United Way of Southwest Michigan fights for the Health, Education and Financial Stability of every person in every community. We have the influence and relationships to make sustainable change a reality. By harnessing resources from corporate, nonprofit and public partners, we provide immediate assistance to our most vulnerable populations while addressing the root causes of our community's longstanding challenges and changing lives for the better. To join the fight—through giving, advocacy and volunteering—visit www.uwsm.org.

Ryan CheeversComment