United Way begins new campaign

MARQUETTE – The United Way of Marquette County campaign kicked off Wednesday with a reception honoring leadership donors at the Landmark Inn.

United Way Director of Operations Barb Meyer said leadership donors each contributed at least $500. However, every donation to the cause helps, she said.

“The beauty of United Way is every little gift adds up to a big total,” Meyer said.

The goal for the new campaign, she said, is $425,000.

City of Marquette Police Chief Mike Angeli and Chocolay Township Police Chief Greg Zyburt are 2014-15 campaign co-chairmen.

“It helps so many different people at so many different levels that it’s really a unique and great way to reach a lot of different people with a lot of different concerns,” Angeli said.

Zyburt said he and Angeli have more than 70 years of experience in law enforcement and dealing with the public.

“I really believe that United Way helps us as law enforcement officers, because we meet the people who fall between the cracks and need help,” Zyburt said.

Recently, Zyburt said, he dealt with a fraud case in which an elderly man was targeted. After talking with the man for hours and trying to convince him he didn’t win the lottery, Zyburt said he noticed he was frail, had canned soup for meals and was alone.

Zyburt then enlisted the help of agencies who could help him.

“We got all these different agencies that are involved in this, and I’m able to turn them over to these people and know that he’s going to be taken care of,” he said. “And as a law enforcement officer, it really helps us a lot because we can’t always follow through and do that. We have to go on to the next complaint and that type of thing.”

Community impact contributions pledged during the 2013-14 campaign were invested this year in these programs: Marquette County Habitat for Humanity, Janzen House, Lutheran Social Services, Salvation Army-Ishpeming, Salvation Army-Marquette, the Women’s Center, the Alger Marquette Community Action Board, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Greater Ishpeming Community on Aging, Marquette Adult Day Services, the Negaunee Senior Center, Propylon Nonprofit Housing and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

Also, Bay Cliff Health Camp, Cancer Care of Marquette County, Dial Help, the Great Lakes Recovery Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marquette and Alger Counties, Child and Family Services, Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes, the Lake Superior Village Youth and Family Center, Teaching Family Homes of Upper Michigan and the YMCA of Marquette County.

For more information on the United Way of Marquette County, visit www.uwmqt.org; call 226-8171; email unitedway@uwmqt.org; or write the organization at P.O. Box 73, Marquette, MI 49855.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.