United Way partner program leads man down pathway to success
The North Rock County United Way is kicking off it's annual campaign by highlighting the organizations and people who benefit from the fundraising. A 28-year-old Janesville credits the Salvation Army's transitional housing program for helping him turn his life around. The Salvation Army program gets funding from the United Way. Kyle Geissler reports. You can read more in Friday's Janesville Gazette.
If you go
Who: United Way of North Rock County
What: 2009 campaign kickoff and celebration of caring.
When: Wednesday, Sept. 16, with 7:15 a.m. registration and complimentary breakfast buffet and 7:30 a.m. program.
Where: Best Events/KANDU Industries, 1741 Adel St. Janesville.
To RSVP: Call (608) 757-3040 by Thursday, Sept. 10.
Special request: Attendees are asked to help fill north Rock County food pantries with personal care items by hosting collections bringing items to the kickoff.
JANESVILLE David Presendofer began using drugs at age 15.
He still isn’t sure how he managed to graduate from high school, and in college he used even more drugs with alcohol.
After studying a semester abroad, Presendofer realized he “used way too much” and wanted to stop.
But he couldn’t.
He sought treatment at 11 facilities in and out of Wisconsin.
He was hospitalized for numerous drug overdoses, locked in mental wards and eventually became homeless.
Today, the 28-year-old Janesville man is drug-free, loving life, physically fit and employed. He has an apartment and is happy for the first time in years.
Presendofer attributes the change to his relationship with God and connecting last year with the local Salvation Army’s Pathways transitional housing program.
It is among the programs that receive funding from United Way of North Rock County.
“Being here has given me amazing opportunities,’’ he said while chatting with guests in his upstairs, spacious apartment on the city’s east side.
“I couldn’t do it on my own,’’ he said.
A safe place to live, support and encouragement have been a lifesaver, Presendofer said.
“Sometimes I’m moved to tears remembering how I used to feel and think. I’m extremely grateful to be alive. The least I can do is give other people hope. That dark place I was in, I’m not there anymore. I have hope for my life today,’’ he said.
The Salvation Army received $68,438 from United Way in 2008 and again in 2009. Of that, $9,750 funded Pathways each of those years, said Tammy Prochazka, social services coordinator.
Presendofer will encourage north Rock County residents to open their hearts and wallets during United Way’s campaign to raise $1.35 million—the same goal as 2008. He’ll share his story at the Wednesday, Sept. 16, campaign kick-off and is featured in this year’s campaign video.
The United Way of North Rock County serves Edgerton, Evansville, Footville, Janesville, Milton and Orfordville.
The 2009 campaign will be led by co-chairs Phoebe Tobias and John Pearse, who said the need to raise money is more critical than ever.
“We go into this campaign expecting it to be more of a challenge than last year due to the prolonged recession and local company closings. Every dollar is critical,’’ Pearse said in a press release.
Tobias, in the same press release, said the key to a successful campaign would be everyone doing his or her part.
“We want to increase participation and not just seek larger gifts from the same donors,” she said. “We can be successful and meet our goal with small gifts from a large number of contributors.”
UNITED WAY VOLUNTEERS
Volunteers helping United Way of North Rock County 2009 campaign co-chairs Phoebe Tobias and John Pearse are:
Bruce Corner of SSI Technologies, Scott Fischer of Baker Tilly, manufacturing; Bill Alt of Alliant Energy, Nick Palasini of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, service; Mark Saunders of Fagan Chevrolet, retail; Jon Wangerin of M&I Bank, finance; ◦Rich Gruber of Mercy Health System, Barb Kienbaum, health care; Jerry and Kristin Moisson, education; Lori Stottler of Rock County, Kevin Murray, government; Gary Bersell of KANDU Industries, nonprofit; Gil Sedor of Sedor & Hoag, Teresa Arrowood of Brennan Steil & Basting, legal; Penny Patterson and Ken Olander of Coldwell SUCCESS, real estate; Deb McCool-Cloute of M&I Bank, Edgerton; Barry Badertscher of Coldwell Commercial, leadership and direct mail.
Several local companies conducted summer campaigns. The 2009 Pacesetter Campaign participants are: Blackhawk Community Credit Union, Bliss Communications, Boston Store, Catholic Charities, Data Dimensions, Dave’s ACE Hardware Milton, First Community Bank Milton, HospiceCare, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, United Way of North Rock County, UPS, US Bank, Wal-Mart /Sam’s Club and YWCA of Rock County.