Celebrating Pillars

What do you get when you combine Fighting Illini spirit, great community leaders and over 300 of the most generous people in town? A fantastic Pillar Celebration!

United Way of Champaign County held our 2016 Pillar Celebration on the evening of September 23 at the Colonnades Club at Memorial Stadium. A United Way Pillar is a leadership giver who makes an annual gift of $500 or more.

Our guests enjoyed hors d'oevures and great views of Memorial Stadium and Zuppke Field.

All costs for the event were covered by our fantastic Leadership Giving sponsors: Barham Benefit Group, Busey, Heartland Bank & Trust Co., Martin Hood Friese & Associates, and Meyer Capel, a Professional Corporation. We appreciate their support.

The Pillar Lifetime Giving Award was presented to Dave Downey and Jane Hays for their many years of consistent annual support. Dave and Jane remarked that we can all do our part to help the community.

The venue was appropriate as our campaign chairs are all involved with the U of I: Justin Spring, Men's Gymnastics coach, Stacey Cole, Director of Development for the College of ACES, and Dee Brown with the Men's Basketball program. Stacey and Justin were on hand for the event and gave a great talk about the concept of "We Before Me". Justin shared how the values of United Way are similar to his coaching philosophy.

Stacey moved many in the crowd with her touching personal story of how United Way helped her family. She asked the crowd to consider giving more this year so more can be helped.

The most memorable part of the evening for many guests was watching United Way's annual video on the giant Illinois scoreboard! It was a great chance to be reminded of all the lives a United Way gift touches.


Thank you to our fantastic Pillars!