Campaign raises $611,564.80 for United Way of Tuscarawas County

Jeff Hootman

United Way of Tuscarawas County celebrated the conclusion of its 79th annual fundraising campaign with a virtual awards ceremony sponsored by Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital. Brad Bielski, dean and administrative director of Kent State University in Tuscarawas and chair of the 2021 United Way Campaign, announced a record campaign for the second year in a row with a total of $611,564.80.

“It’s an incredible total! I was delighted to receive a phone call from Robin Waltz just a few days ago, informing me that we had reached a new high. I believe people give to a great cause and to organizations with exceptional leadership,” Bielski said. “Thank you to our board members and volunteers for making this campaign a success and most importantly, thank you to everyone who donated to help Centraide help our neighbours. »

Robin Waltz, UWTC President/CEO, said, “Our community campaign will provide funding to 18 regional health and social service programs and special grants focused on building a sustainable community. We continued to administer the Covid-19 Community Response Fund. To date, nearly $100,000 has been distributed to trusted local partner agencies and organizations providing crucial support such as utility assistance, food vulnerability, housing assistance and mental health needs.

Waltz also reported that more than 1,600 tax returns were completed free for county residents and more than 27,000 free books were delivered to children in Tuscarawas County through the Governor’s Imagination Library. Ohio in 2021.

Community volunteer Bruce James, who recently retired as president of Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital, will serve as campaign chair for the 2022 campaign after assisting Bielski last year.

The awards ceremony began with recognition of the volunteers who are part of the 2021 campaign team. These volunteers included: Tammy Curry, DoverPhila Federal Credit Union; Darlene Finzer, Rea & Associates; Bruce James, community volunteer; Jennifer Jones, Aultman Health Systems; Michele Lieser, McInturf Realty; Bonnie Schrock, Andreas Furniture; Jeanne Stephen, Tuscarawas County Clerk; Elizabeth Stephenson, Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas; Agnes Swigart, community volunteer; Elaine Tedrow, commercial and savings bank; and Andrew Wright, Hanhart Agency.

A number of local businesses and organizations received awards for their contributions to the 2021 campaign. Leadership Circle awards were announced for businesses and organizations with outstanding employee and corporate giving. These included: Adventure Harley-Davidson, Allied Machine & Engineering, Andreas Furniture, Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital, Complete Hydraulic Service, Dominion Energy Ohio, Dover Chemical, Dover Hydraulics, Inc., DoverPhila Federal Credit Union, Family Office Equipment, First Federal Community Bank, First National Bank of Dennison, Gradall, Huntington National Bank, LJ Smith, Inc., McInturf Realty, Metal Masters, Inc., New Philadelphia City Schools, Newton Asphalt Paving, Inc., Parkway Auto Group, R & J Cylinder & Machine, Rea & Associates, Society for Equal Access, ILC, Superior Clay, Timken, Troyer & Associates, Tuscarawas County Probate & Juvenile Court, Tusco Display, Unified Bank, and United Parcel Service.

President’s Award recipients saw a 10% increase in donations. These included: AAA of Tuscarawas County, Adventure Harley-Davidson, Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio, Buckeye Career Center, Claymont City Schools, Complete Hydraulic Service, Dover City Schools, Gradall, Garaway Local Schools, Indian Valley Local Schools, Kennedy Assurance, Kent State University Tuscarawas, McInturf Realty, Metal Masters, Inc., New Philadelphia City Schools, Newton Asphalt Paving, Inc., Northern Ohio Peterbilt/Ohio CAT, Parkway Auto Group, PNC Bank, Rea & Associates, Strasburg -Franklin Local Schools, Superior Clay, Toland-Herzig Funeral Homes & Crematory, Tuscarawas County Probate & Juvenile Court, Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools, Tuscarawas County YMCA, United Parcel Service and Walmart Store #2115.

The Pioneer Awards, recognizing a company or organization for its commitment to the community by organizing its first United Way campaign, were presented to Kraton and Plymouth Foam, Inc.

The Media Awards recognize media partners in the region for their exceptional contribution to our community and to Centraide. These included: WJER Radio, WTUZ Radio, The Bargain Hunter-Tuscarawas County, The Budget, Reber Video, The Times Reporter, and The Tuscarawas County Broadcasting Company-WBTC.

The final prize was the Vic Marsh Annual Service Award to Jeff Hootman of Dover. Hootman was chosen by the United Way Board of Directors to honor his outstanding commitment and dedication to the United Way of Tuscarawas County and the community.

Hootman has supported United Way for more than forty years, beginning as a loan executive in 1978 while working in Stark County. In Tuscarawas County, he served as a loaned executive, community impact committee member, board chair, and director for 10 years. Hootman chaired his employer’s internal campaigns for more than fifteen years, making the organization one of the top annual contributors to the local campaign. Hootman has volunteered his services to several area organizations over the years, including the Canton Area Chapter of APICS, Dover Jaycees, Dover Baseball and Softball Leagues, YMCA Biddy Basketball, and the Church Evangelical Lutheran Grace. He is currently Chairman of the Dover Planning Commission.

Hootman was born and raised in Dover and is an alumnus of Dover High School. He graduated from Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, majoring in finance. After 30 years, he retired from Zimmer Surgical as Director of Supply Chain.

Hootman was married to Jill Kreisher for just under 45 years until her death in 2019. His family includes son Jeff K. of North Canton, daughter Katie of Dover, daughter Emily and husband Jory Swihart of Dover and his grandsons Kellen and Jack Swihart. Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, working out at the YMCA, playing golf and taking care of his 115 year old home.

Waltz commented, “He is one of those people who gives of his time and presence to do something invaluable without expecting anything in return. Thanks again to Jeff for all your years of dedication and support to United Way and Tuscarawas County.

The virtual awards ceremony can be viewed at

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