From the Archive: Belz Enterprises campaign for United Way sets high marks in participation, total giving, special events

Ron Belz greets Bryce Haugsdahl at Belz Enterprises’ United Way campaign finale, held in the Skyway room at the top of The Peabody Hotel.

“Our theme this year was ‘creating a way,’ and Belz employees see that we’re all one working toward the same goal. That is what our United Way event is all about. This year we created wonderful opportunities for people in our community, giving them brighter futures and meeting needs that are not met anywhere else,” said Lucie Anderson, Belz Enterprises’ United Way campaign coordinator.

Anderson’s remarks were delivered during a ceremony where Belz Enterprises employee campaign committee members were recognized for their support of this year’s United Way fundraising campaign.

Employees at Belz Enterprises responded to the call for improving education, financial stability and health for our community by increasing giving to United Way in several key categories. 100% of the Belz workforce made pledges and/or one-time gifts to United Way, and employee giving increased 3.29% from last year.

Belz employees also used creative events to raise funds, with a company bake sale and a golf tournament (which was recognized for its incredible increase). Belz also used several overnight hotel packages, Grizzlies’ courtside tickets, Carrie Underwood concert tickets, Memphis fine dining and retail gift cards and family fun packages to raise awareness of the fundraising drive. Gifts as a result of special events increased nearly 10% compared to 2011.

Belz Enterprises also generously increased its corporate gift to $112,500 this year, bringing total contributions to $197,664.

Belz employee Jay Snow, who led the golf tournament activities as committee chairman, talked about the extraordinary funds that the Belz 24th Annual Golf Tournament produced.  “This is a team effort,” he said, introducing the members of the committee who helped. “We really have a good crew that works on an annual basis to make this tournament a success. We looked at what we should do with the money (raised from the golf tournament) and United Way was a natural choice,” he said. This year the tournament donated $18,500 to United Way, surpassing last year’s total of $11,500.

Calling the campaign “amazing,” Ron Belz, COO of Belz Enterprises, former Chairman of the United Way Board of Directors and a former United Way General Campaign Chairman said “it took years and years” to build the Belz Enterprises-United Way campaign and get everyone involved in the United Way system, “one that pays back in so many ways – and more than you put into it.”

“Year after year, we perform better and better and this year is no exception,” Belz added.

One very noteworthy thing that Belz Enterprises did differently for this year’s campaign was giving employees a first-hand education about United Way’s network by having campaign kick-off events at partner agency sites and inviting other partner agency staff to join in the activity. Kicking off at the Downtown Goodwill Porter Boys and Girls Club, Director Antonio Harris shared his agency’s mission and led a tour of the facility.  Then, guided by BRIDGES Training Director Jon Grizzle and staff, Belz employees participated in challenging team building games that educated the group about the lessons the agency teaches to people it serves.

Belz employees also had a special opportunity to see the recent Academy Award-winning documentary film, “Undefeated” at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Memphis and hear from local business owner and CEO of Classic American Hardwoods, Bill Courtney, who was featured in the film.

The film, which had limited release this year, chronicles the Manassas Tigers 2009 football season on and off the field as they strive to win the first playoff game in their high school’s 110 year history, led by Coach Bill Courtney.

United Way of the Mid-South wishes to thank everyone at Belz Enterprises with special thanks to father and son Jack Belz and Ron Belz (both are past recipients of the Tocqueville Award, the highest honor United Way of the Mid-South can bestow on a local volunteer).

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