Mother and daughter named co-chairs of United Way of Champaign County's 2012 campaign
CHAMPAIGN — A mother and daughter will be leading the United Way of Champaign County's 2012 campaign.
During a press conference reporting that the local United Way exceeded its goal for the fourth consecutive year, United Way of Champaign County President and CEO Lyn Jones announced that Donna Greene and her daughter Jennifer Vallowe have been selected as the co-chairs for the next campaign, which gets under way in August.
Both Greene and Vallowe have been heavily involved with fundraising for the United Way at their respective companies, so Jones said they are a great choice to head up efforts for the countywide campaign.
Donna Greene, president of Busey Wealth Management, said she was excited to learn that she and her daughter would get to work together on the 2012 campaign.
"It is novel for the United Way to come up with this idea," Greene said. "We think it is a great way to make sure the community needs are meet. We're excited about the community and the opportunity to work with the United Way."
Vallowe, manager of corporate and foundation relations at Carle, said her mother has always been her role model.
"Not only do I get to work with her, but I get to work with her in a great capacity," she said. "I think we'll be a good team."
As a mom, Greene said, she is proud of the way Vallowe has stepped up to serve as co-chair.
"The opportunity to work with my daughter in this capacity was too much to turn down," she said.
2011 Champaign Co-Chair Lynne Barnes said the local board of directors set a goal last fall to raise $3.3 million.
On Thursday, Barnes reported that the campaign succeeded in raising $3,473,893.
"It is truly incredible that, in our county, the local United Way for the fourth year in a row has exceeded the campaign goal," Barnes said. "The campaign has continued to grow through some pretty difficult economic times."
2011 Campaign Co-Chair Tony Clements said contributions to the United Way of Champaign County have increased by 11.2 percent overall over the past four years.
"We went into this expecting that the economy would be a challenge for people, and I think they really surprised us in the way came through," Clements said.
"Sometimes when the economy is a factor, it gets people thinking about all the needs that are out there and inspires people who may not be able to give a lot to give a little. Every dollar counts," Jones said. "We focused not only on people giving more, but also more people giving."
Greene said the next United Way campaign kicks off on Aug. 29.