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United Way of Elgin Kicks Off 2018-2019 Campaign

On September 13, the United Way of Elgin (UWE) hosted the 2018-19 Campaign Kickoff Reception at the Grand Victoria Casino. Supporters gathered to celebrate the launch of a new year of fundraising for social services that help to meet vital health, education and income needs in the community. The kickoff’s theme was “Hats Off To YOU,” recognizing that it is the leadership and generosity of United Way’s donors and supporters which allows UWE to continue to build community and improve lives in the Elgin area. As board chair Betsy Cappas noted in her welcome, "None of this work is possible without all of you--donors, volunteers, supporters, and agencies."

Campaign co-chairs Tom McCartney, manager and founding principal at My Advisor & Planner, LLC, and Dr. Gene Crume, President of Judson University, spoke as their alter egos, the Elgin Area Blues Brothers, grand entrance song and all. No eyes could be drawn away from these two as they spoke on the campaign in their matching outfits. As Tom said, "We truly are on a mission to change lives in the Elgin area. And everyone present today plays a role in that."

This year marked a very special year for the leadership donor society, known as the Pillars Club, as they celebrated 25 years. Even more, UWE was very lucky to have in attendance some of the inaugural Pillars Club members. "The generosity of these donors set the bar for exceptional leadership giving," Tom McCartney noted. The Campaign Chairs then recognized all of the Pillars that were in attendance and thanked them for their powerful generosity.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of the Jack Shales Spirit of Community Award to Dan and Karen Fox for their decades of service to the Elgin community. UWE President Lynne Bosley presented the award, taking  a moment to note that this is the first year of presenting the award without Jack by her side. Jack Shales, for whom the award is named, passed away earlier this year. And while he is no longer with us, Lynne noted “I know Jack  would be thrilled to see this award given to Dan and Karen.”


It was a great celebration of everyone that makes what United Way of Elgin does possible. Be sure to check out the Facebook page for more picures.

To make a donation to the United Way of Elgin campaign, please visit or contact Elissa Kojzarek at

All photos by Gil Feliciano.