News & Announcements

United Way of Effingham County Raises $331,665 for the 2017 Campaign

posted: February 6th, 2018

Gold, Silver, Bronze Businesses

Spirit of Caring

Incoming, Outgoing photo

Gold / Silver / Bronze Businesses – Seated L to R: Leslie Eckert, Sharon Harper, Rachel Miller, Rick Siemer, Peggy Valenti, Shanta Will, Nikki Bloemer

Standing L to R: Marty Watson, Lynn Higgs, Lora Bergfeld, Courtney Bell, Monica Schumacher, Lisa Koerner, Katie Smithenry, Theresa Harner, Ali Habing, Patrick Kreke, Beth Funneman


Spirit of Caring Award Winners:

L to R: Marty Watson (Outstanding Board Member), Rachel Miller & Rick Siemer (Outstanding Organization – Siemer Milling Company), Matt Niebrugge & Darin Hansen (Outstanding Volunteer – Oneighty)


Incoming / Outgoing/ Returning Board Members – Seated L to R: Lisa Koerner (Incoming), Kelsey Goeckner (Returning), Peggy Valenti (Returning)

Standing L to R: Lora Bergfeld (Returning), Mike Defend (Outgoing), Patty Greene (Returning), Larry O’Dell (Outgoing).  (Unavailable for photo Incoming board members – Tyler Semple and Cindy Grunloh and JR Elder- Outgoing Board member)


United Way of Effingham County has raised $331,665 in their recent 2017 campaign. This was announced at the Annual Meeting for the United Way of Effingham that was held on February 5, 2018 at the Effingham Events Center in Effingham. The campaign officially closed on 1/31/18.

The winners of the 2017 Spirit of Caring Awards were announced, and the businesses were also honored who achieved Gold, Silver and Bronze status. Stevens Industries was also recognized as the “Lead Pacesetter” company, partner agencies and review of the 2017 Campaign were also highlighted.  Many were on hand to celebrate the success of the 2017 Campaign!

The Spirit of Caring Awards recognize individuals who are committed citizens and organizations that stand out, those who make an impact on the campaign, while others give countless hours to improve the quality of life in Effingham County.

Oneighty was named 2017 Outstanding Volunteer. Darin Hansen and volunteers from Oneighty played a key role in creating the United Way campaign videos used for employee campaigns. They most recently helped with the production of the 2017 campaign video.  Many hours were dedicated to interviewing and taping individuals to be featured in the video. This campaign video is a great resource and is instrumental in the United Way employee campaigns to showcase business leaders and agencies, how United Way funds are used, and the impact donations to United Way have on the community.

Siemer Milling Company was named 2017 Outstanding Organization. Throughout the years, Siemer Milling Company has been a big supporter of United Way. They began their first campaign in 1980 raising $500 and have grown their campaign throughout the years, by raising over $20,000 with the most recent campaign! In addition to the campaign, the 90 employees from the corporate office, located in Teutopolis, know how to raise money and have fun doing it through various fundraisers such as a luncheon, raffle, 50/50 drawing and other events. In honor of their 135th year celebration, Siemer Milling Company gave each employee $135 to donate to the charity of their choice, with many choosing United Way. Their support shows throughout the years by attending and donating to United Way fundraising events, and by having a representative on the Board of Directors.

Marty Watson was named 2017 Outstanding Board Member. Marty joined the United Way Board of Directors in 2016 representing Ameren. He has held various roles on the board, serving on the Grants Committee, Special Events Committee and the Campaign Committee.  Marty also served as Vice President in 2017, and will serve as President for the current year. He has been instrumental in Ameren’s United Way campaign, raising over $31,000 with the most recent campaign. Marty is always willing to help out where needed and generously donates to our fundraising events. He graciously shares his time and talents with United Way, and is a true asset to the Board of Directors.

Other businesses included seating seven new and renewing directors for the 2018 Board of Directors. New members include:  Lisa Koerner – Stevens Industries, Cindy Grunloh – Crossroads Bank and Tyler Semple – Heartland Dental.  Those serving another term include; Kelsey Goeckner – Dieterich Bank, Peggy Valenti – Koerner Distributor, Lora Bergfeld – Midland States Bank and Patty Greene – Thelma Keller Convention Center

Special thanks was given to outgoing board member; Mike Defend – Crossroads Bank, Larry O’Dell – Community Member, and JR Elder – Stevens Industries for their term on the board.

Pacesetter Companies were also recognized. They are companies who have conducted an employee campaign, made a corporate donation, and purchased a table at the United Way Gala.  Over 85% of the annual campaign is generated from employee campaigns.  They include: Agracel, Ameren, Consolidated Communications, Crossroads Bank, Dieterich Bank, Heartland Dental, HSHS St Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, Koerner Distributor, Midland States Bank, Patterson Technology Center, Siemer Milling Company, Stevens Industries and Washington Savings Bank.

Gold, Silver and Bronze level plaques were presented to the businesses based on their campaign totals. Gold level businesses, raising $10,000 or above include: Agracel, Ameren, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, Koerner Distributor, Midland States Bank, Patterson Technology Center, Siemer Milling Company, and Stevens Industries.  Silver level businesses, raising $5,000 – $9,999 include; Dieterich Bank and Niemerg’s Steakhouse.  Bronze level businesses, raising $2,500 – $4,999 include; Fifth Third Bank, Wal-Mart, Washington Savings Bank and West and Company.

Other local businesses that conducted an employee campaign were also honored: Catholic Charities, Consolidated Communications, Continental Mills, Crossroads Bank, Effingham County employees, Federal Express, First Financial Bank of Newton, First National Bank of Waterloo, Heartland Dental, Hodgson Mill, John Boos & Company, Land of Lincoln Credit Union, RR Donnelley & Sons, Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Senior Services of Effingham County, Sherwin Williams and United Fidelity Bank of St. Elmo.

West and Company were recognized for conducting their first employee campaign.

Twenty five local partner agencies will receive funding from the 2017 United Way of Effingham County campaign: Andrew Gobczynski Big Heart Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters Mid-Illinois, Blessings in a Backpack, Boy Scouts of America – Lincoln Trails Council, CASA of Effingham County, Catholic Charities, CEFS Literacy Program, CEFS Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Children’s Advocacy Center of East Central Illinois, Effingham Child Development Center, Effingham County FISH Human Services, Effingham County Search & Rescue, Effingham County Youth Commission, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois, Heartland Human Services, Meal on Wheels of CEFS, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), One Hope United, Oneighty, Senior Services of Effingham County, Sexual Assault and Family Emergencies (SAFE), Strategic Training & Restoration (STAR), Stopping Woman Abuse Now (SWAN), and the Unit 40 Mentoring Program.

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to the 2017 campaign, and helped exceed the 2017 campaign goal of $305,000. The campaign officially closed on January 31, 2017 and finished at $331,665.

Many of the United Way Agencies would not be able to provide services to Effingham County residents without the contributions made by local individuals and businesses. For more information about United Way of Effingham County, please call (217) 342-3824 or visit