Derek's Blog

News and thoughts from Derek Gordon, 2015 Young Leaders Society Chair

Jan. 19, 2015, 9:22 A.M.
Happy New Year! 
As we enter 2016, we are hitting the ground running with the beginning of our SOUP series. This micro-grant program aimed at supporting unrealized needs in our community is a progressive movement that has been a huge success in other large communities across the country. We are very fortunate to have such a forward-thinking leadership team at United Way of Greater Stark County (UWGSC) as we are one of the first midsize communities in Ohio to offer this grassroots program. To learn more, or to attend, visit the SOUP web page ».
To help support programs like SOUP, the YLS Canton Craft Beer Invitational Committee continues to develop our only annual fundraiser for the group. We are pleased to announce that it will be held at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 4, 2016. This event will allow participants to enjoy craft beers from breweries all around the state of Ohio and then tour the Hall of Fame in one ticket price. With a very strong and connected committee, we believe this could be one of the largest fundraisers in the history of UWGSC. Stay tuned for more details and feel free to contact Carrie » to get involved.
Once again, thank you for your support of UWGSC and YLS, and we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming meeting and/or event.
Oct. 19, 2015, 2:25 P.M. 
As the weather is beginning to cool down, the YLS calendar is starting to heat up! A special thank you to Darin and Jen Hill who have stepped up to be the co-chairs for our Hoodies for the Holiday project. With the help of their committee, they have developed a fun and high impact opportunity to inspire local youths to pursue higher education. We hope you are able to attend and participate on the event dates provided in the newsletter.
We are also working hard on finalizing details for our SOUP and Canton Invitational - Craft Brewing Fundraiser events. We hope to have some very exciting announcements about both of these activities very soon.
Finally, we continue to recruit new members as we gain momentum with YLS. As of today we are up to 85 members in just the first few months of existence. Feel free to invite your friends to our next steering committee meeting to learn more about our upcoming activities or contact us directly to find out how to get involved. Individuals can also join by texting STARKYLS to 51555.
See you next month!
Sept. 14, 2015, 10:31 A.M. 
Thanks to beautiful weather and a fantastic team effort from YLS volunteers our first official event, NFL Play 60  was a success! All of the event organizers and volunteers deserve a great deal of credit for a job well done as there is a lot of momentum leading up to an even bigger and better event in 2016. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to bring Play 60 to Canton.
To follow up on the success of Play 60, we are already beginning our plans for our Hoodies for the Holidays event. We are still seeking a chairperson or co-chairpersons, so please contact Carrie Clemens  if you are interested. 
Finally, for anyone looking to join YLS or just learning more about United Way, the Festa Gervasi  event on Sunday, Sept. 27 is an excellent way to introduce someone new to our group. This is a fun, family friendly event at the beautiful Gervasi Vineyard. For more information please visit our website, and we hope to see you there!
Aug. 17, 2015, 8:48 A.M. 
As we get closer to the date of our first official YLS project (NFL Play 60), it has been a treat to witness such an incredible amount of volunteerism and collaboration from our community partners to bring this event to reality. Our UW staff, project chairpersons and subcommittees have displayed a remarkable commitment to these efforts, and I am confident that the event will represent YLS and United Way of Greater Stark County in a very positive light. 
If you are still interested in registering a child and have not yet signed up, please be sure to contact Caitlin Leininger  to do so or feel free to share our registration page. Thank you to everyone who has donated their time and efforts to this cause, and I look forward to seeing everyone at Stadium Park on Aug. 29. 
We are off to a great start with YLS and with the promise of success with our first project. I anticipate that we will continue to gain new members and continue to provide a great service to our community. Be sure to invite your friends, co-workers, and family members to get involved.  
Anyone interested in joining YLS can simply text the word STARKYLS to 51555 to join from their mobile phone. 
July 15, 2015, 10:02 A.M.
We are thrilled with the response we've had to this new group in such a short period of time. There has been wonderful excitement and energy around the concept of many of our community projects, and I want to personally thank everyone who has volunteered to get involved, especially our project chairpersons.
The first project that is going to put YLS on the map in the community is the NFL Play 60  program. Our volunteer committee is working diligently to develop the plans for this year's event and has quickly established several community partners to help support this initiative. This project will help promote improved health and wellness habits for our local youth and give them tools to continue these habits well after the event. We will need many volunteers to make this project a success so please be sure to get in touch with us if you are interested in being a part of the team.
Stay tuned as there are many other projects in the pipeline!


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