Remembering Tony Clements

Photo by John Dixon/The News-Gazette

Tony Clements, past Board Chair and onetime Interim CEO of United Way of Champaign County, passed away on June 9, 2017. We are deeply saddened by our friend Tony’s passing, and our thoughts are with his loved ones. Tony supported United Way with his whole heart, and our organization is better because of his involvement.

Listen to United Way President & CEO Sue Grey on WDWS remembering Tony Clements.

Tony joined the United Way Board of Directors in December 2008. Together with good friend and fellow United Way board member Mike Haile, Stuff The Bus was brought to Champaign County in 2010. Over four years, hundreds of thousands of items were donated to help local nonprofits reduce their overhead cost and better serve their clients. Tony and Mike were famous at the Campus Charitable Fund Drive events for their humorous approach to pulling the raffle tickets.

Tony Clements, left, with Mike Haile

In 2012, Tony served as United Way’s interim President & CEO. Working with Tony was a treat for all the United Way staff. Under Tony’s strong leadership, the organization stayed on track and completed the 2012 fundraising campaign without a hitch. In 2013 Tony stepped up to lead once more, serving as the 2013 Campaign co-chair with Lynne Barnes.

Stuff The Bus

Stuff the Bus

Leading a Campaign Breakfast during his time as Interim CEO.

Tony was elected Chair of the United Way board in 2015. During his term, Tony oversaw the update to our Community Report and led our organization’s strategic plan, Vision2020. Tony spearheaded the creation of a Marketing Committee to increase awareness of United Way in our community, and led the effort to create our first-ever Day of Action in June 2015.

Tony always pushed United Way to try new ideas. He was a strong supporter of bringing Power of the Purse to Champaign County – “It’ll be a hit!” he said. As usual, Tony was right – this event has become a huge success. He was creative and innovative, always coming up with new ways for United Way to engage the entire community.

Prior to his volunteer work with United Way, Tony Clements served as Director of Campus Recreation at the University of Illinois for 30 years, retiring in 2009. He enjoyed golf and stand-up comedy, hosting Clements Comedy Café for 25 years.  Tony was also the official scorer at U of I basketball games for over 30 years and was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Tony will be deeply missed.