United Way of Central Ohio is proud to be celebrating 100 years of impact in our community throughout 2023. We know our accomplishments in the past 100 years are not ours alone but are the result of partnerships. We are a strong United Way because of strong community partnerships. Each year, as a proud sponsor of Columbus Business First’s Corporate Citizenship Awards, we recognize three corporate partners who have gone above and beyond in helping us create a stronger, more equitable central Ohio. This year’s event was held June 15 at The Fives next to White Castle’s new headquarters.
This year’s Dale E. Heydlauff Legacy Award for Outstanding Philanthropic Leadership recognizes the top corporate citizen leading the way in philanthropy and community engagement. This year’s honoree is Grange Insurance, a truly exceptional partner to United Way and central Ohio. Grange consistently embodies a culture of philanthropy and community service through its Grange Gives employee campaign. Historical documents show that Grange has been running United Way campaigns since at least the 1980s. In the 2022 campaign, 100% of Grange leaders donated to the campaign before kicking it off to all associates. Grange generously provides a one-to-one match for employee donations, which inspires giving and doubles the impact of contributions. Over the last 26 years, the Grange Gives campaign has raised over $12.4 million to support United Way and nonprofits throughout central Ohio, making a significant impact to transform lives and help build a stronger community.
“Grange Insurance has been an exceptional partner to United Way for more than half of our 100-year history in central Ohio,” said Lisa S. Courtice, president and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio. “In the past 26 years, the Grange Gives campaign has raised more than $12.4 million to help strengthen nonprofits and the families they serve in our community. The impact from Grange’s giving and volunteering will continue to transform lives in central Ohio for generations to come. Thank you, Grange, for your philanthropic leadership!”
The United Way New Partnership Award recognizes a corporation that has forged a new partnership with United Way to create innovative community solutions, and this year’s recipient is Nationwide’s Corporate Real Estate Team. While Nationwide has been an important partner since 1951, the company continues to seek new ways to create lasting change. Most recently that has included exploring viable uses for its excess real estate that would meet our community’s unique needs and contribute to the long-term vitality of downtown. Led by Kieran Sherry, Brian Tessau and Patrick Murtha, the team worked tirelessly in partnership with United Way to create an economically viable center of excellence for nonprofits. The Community Impact Center, at 215 North Front Street, opened in November 2022 and currently has eight nonprofit tenants with more to join soon. We are honored to recognize the visionary leadership of the Nationwide Corporate Real Estate Team in creating this unique center in downtown Columbus that allows nonprofits to collectively offer support to individuals and families more efficiently and effectively.
Our United Way Dedicated Supporter Award recognizes a long-standing corporate partnership, and this year we recognize the commitment of Hexion. Hexion has been a loyal partner with a long history of successful workforce campaigns dating back to the mid-1990s. Hexion exudes pride and passion around its fundraising efforts, with the campaign being the company’s largest annual philanthropic endeavor. In 2022, Hexion incorporated events like a kickoff luncheon and employee games that drummed up donations and friendly competition. Educational opportunities like an on-site nonprofit fair for employees were also added. Never missing an opportunity to make a difference, Hexion Cares Day has become a yearly tradition with employees volunteering and making a positive impact. Through more than a quarter century of giving through United Way, Hexion has donated over $6 million from associates and matching corporate contributions to strengthen families in central Ohio.
With our loyal network of partners working alongside us, we will make the next 100 years our brightest. While we may be a century old, our energy is vibrant, our spirit is bold, and we’re poised to shape the future of central Ohio for all of us. Thank you to all our corporate partners committed to making our community equitable today and in the future.