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Orange County United Way kicks off annual fundraising campaign

The nonprofit also honored Bank of America during a special awards luncheon on Wednesday.

By Kristen SchottPublished: September 30, 2010 02:20 PM

Orange County United Way launched its annual fundraising initiative on Wednesday at a special awards ceremony honoring Bank of America and last year's top employee campaign managers.

During the ceremony, which took place at Muzeo in Anaheim, the nonprofit recognized Bank of America as its Lead Corporate Partner in the 2009-2010 LIVE UNITED campaign.

The initiative raised more than $25 million to help local individuals and families build self-sufficient lives.

“Orange County residents and businesses opened their hearts and wallets last year and gave generously to help those whose lives have been impacted by the worst economic recession since the Great Depression,” said Maria Chavez Wilcox, president and CEO of Orange County United Way. “Giving was up last year, and we saw more participation from companies and their employees, even though employment in Orange County was down.”

Bank of America also received the Dimensions in Giving award, which recognizes the company's 70-year partnership with Orange County United Way, as well as its commitment to boosting employee participation, among other efforts.

The company boasted an 88 percent uptick in its donors during the most recent campaign, doubling Bank of America's local associate participation.

“In these challenging economic times, it is more important than ever to support those most in need through effective nonprofits like Orange County United Way," said Greg Mech, Orange County market president for Bank of America. "So Bank of America has tapped its more than 6,500 associates who work or live in Orange County to encourage local volunteerism and personal donations while the bank matches those donations and provided more opportunities for associates to volunteer and give back to their communities than ever before."

In addition, the total number of employee donors across the county increased by 10 percent last year to 41,302.

“The response from the Orange County community to help those less fortunate is nothing short of awe-inspiring,” said Wilcox. “Professionals, retirees, large corporations and small businesses all contributed to the success of the 2009-10 campaign.”

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