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Nearly $1M raised by United Way of South Mississippi last year

UNITED WAY OF SOUTH MISSISSIPPI 
 United Way of South Mississippi presented the Gulfport School District with the 2015 Spirit Award during the LIVE UNITED awards Monday, April 25, 2016, at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino. From left are United Way 2015 Board President Ron Barnes, Gulfport High School's Bryce Moore and Sandy East, UWSM CEO Cynthia Minton Walker and MC Price with Gulfport High School.
UNITED WAY OF SOUTH MISSISSIPPI United Way of South Mississippi presented the Gulfport School District with the 2015 Spirit Award during the LIVE UNITED awards Monday, April 25, 2016, at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino. From left are United Way 2015 Board President Ron Barnes, Gulfport High School's Bryce Moore and Sandy East, UWSM CEO Cynthia Minton Walker and MC Price with Gulfport High School.

The United Way of South Mississippi raised close to $1 million in 2015 thanks to the donations of companies and volunteers.

On Monday the nonprofit recognized those who went out of their way to make a difference to the community last year.

United Way staff, board of directors and campaign volunteers attended their annual LIVE UNITED awards banquet breakfast held on the second floor of the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino's Camellia Ballroom.

Donors and volunteers raised a total of $900,000 for the year, according to a UWSM press release.

United Way awarded William Yates III of Yates Construction its highest honor, the President's Award, for dedication and service to the United Way and the community.

In other awards:

-- Lori West was presented the Community Impact Award, in particular for her work with the Women's Leadership Council.

-- IP Casino Resort & Spa received the Leading the Way Award, given to the companies who had the largest increase in donors who gave over $500.

-- The Breakthrough Award was presented to WLOX and William Carey University for having largest increase in campaign participation.

-- The Outstanding Marketing Partner Award was presented to Mississippi Power for their partnership with United Way in production and creative collaboration on campaign collaterals and videos.

-- CSL Plasma and SABIC recieved the Over-the-Top Award for companies with the largest percentage increase in dollar amount pledged.

-- The Small Business Over-the-Top Award was presented to Ridgeland law firm Copeland, Cook, Taylor & Bush.

-- Gulfport School District and Garden Medical Center received the 2015 Spirit Award for campaigns embodied creativity and enthusiasm.

-- Harrah's Gulf Coast received the Trailblazer Award for bringing innovative, invigorating ideas to the 2015 cammpaign.

-- Amanda Hansen with Harrah's Gulf Coast, Elizabeth Thomas with Butler Snow and Stephen Vogel with Chemours were all awarded the Employee Campaign Manager Award for organizing and running an educational employee campaign.

-- Schumer Group Wellness Works was recognized as the Largest First Time Campaign Award for bringing in the largest dollar amount of pledges of those companies who ran campaigns for the first time.

-- Chemours recieved the Live United Award for companies and organizations who embody the LIVE UNITED spirt.

United Way is a nonprofit 501(c) agency that partners with local nonprofits, businesses, government and social service agencies to address the community's most pressing needs. Its mission is "to rally resources, collaboratives and leadership to improve the quality of life in South Mississippi." The South Mississippi branch covers Harrison, Hancock, Pearl River and Stone Counties.

The United Way says it reinvests $4.84 back into the community for every $1 that is donated.

To donate or help, call (601)360-0450 or go to Sunherald.com for a link to United Way of South Mississippi's website.

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