LIMA — United Way of Greater Lima volunteer Betsy Winget was busy in the background, taking photos of award recipients with her phone during Friday’s campaign wrap-up and awards breakfast at Old Barn Restaurant and Grill. Little did she know that she would soon be the center of attention, receiving the final award of the event.
Winget, along with several individuals, agencies, and corporate partners, was honored as the United Way concluded its 2021 campaign, raising over $1.6 million total to help fund community and volunteer initiatives.
“We have not hit that total since 2018, so we are really excited,” United Way of Greater Lima President and CEO Erin Hardesty said. “We had a phenomenal campaign. All of the companies that are involved, the unions that are involved, everyone just came together.”
Winget received the Paul Woehlke Volunteer Appreciation Award in honor of the numerous ways she has offered her time and talents to serve the community. The award is named after longtime United Way supporter Paul Woehlke, who died of cancer in 2016.
“Betsy volunteers all over the community. But for the United Way, she was instrumental in helping set up 2-1-1, which is the referral source that anyone can call [to learn about volunteer opportunities],” Hardesty said. “She comes into the office two days a week, and she took on the Women United committee and ran with it. There’s just a multitude of things. I don’t think I could list them all.”
Winget described herself as speechless when she heard her name announced, “which is rare for me,” she said. When asked about her motivation to volunteer at the United Way and in other capacities, she said the seeds for that drive were planted early.
“I was born and raised in Lima,” she said. “My mother and father were both active in the community, and my dad used to tell us three kids, ‘You have a responsibility to give back to the community.’ That, to me, is extremely important. I’ve always volunteered, and I knew when I retired, I just wanted that to be magnified for the organizations I’m passionate about, and I just love every minute of it.”
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0391 or on Twittter @cmkelly419.