Community meeting

United Way Hosts Community Spirit Meeting

March 3, 2022

By Mike Kruzman / [email protected]

The Livingston County United Way honored local volunteers Wednesday at its annual Spirit of the Community Breakfast.

More than 200 people gathered at Crystal Gardens in Genoa Township on Wednesday morning for the annual Livingston County United Way Community Spirit Gathering.

Jeff Blagg, Pastor of SonRise Church and current Chair of the United Way Board of Directors hosted the event and kicked off the event by welcoming newly elected board members: Rick Todd, Kelli Matthew, Teresa Falzetti and Luke Nolan.

Each year, a highlight of the breakfast is the skit performed by board members, donors and volunteers. This year’s skit, ‘Climbing Mountains Together’, aimed to help a hitchhiker achieve his goal with the support of the community helping him every step of the way.

2021 Campaign Co-Chairs Rick Todd and Penny Murphy recognized more than 100 workplace campaign successes, highlighting partners for their extraordinary donations and participation.

United Way Chief Executive Anne Rennie then presented the 2021 Volunteer of the Year awards. Brighton High School student Noah Shand won the Young Person of Distinction award and the BHS Leadership Class won the youth organization of the year award. The winner for Charles W. Itsell Volunteer of the Year was Livingston County Drainage Commissioner Brian Jonckheere. Patti Griffith of First National Bank/Bank of Ann Arbor received the Donald Epley Lifetime Service Award, and First Impression Print & Marketing won the Randy Rudisill Business of the Year Award.

The meeting ended with two calls to action. One was to join United Way with its new sustainability efforts and Earth Day scavenger hunt. The other was to invite everyone to be part of the community investment process that helps determine how donated dollars are spent.

To learn more about the local United Way, visit

(Photos: United Way of Livingston County)