United Way gala to raise funds for those in need – including in Hamilton County

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By Rick Morwick

By virtually all economic measures, Hamilton County is among Indiana’s most affluent communities – a reality that belies the fact thousands of its households live below the poverty line.

That’s where the United Way of Central Indiana, with a huge assist from young volunteers and corporate partners, steps in.

In recognition of the young philanthropists, volunteers and community activists who assist the organization in its mission to provide resources to 84 community-based groups, including several in Hamilton County, the United Way of Central Indiana is presenting its second ELEVATE Gala at 7 p.m. Feb. 29 at the Crane Bay Event Center in Indianapolis, 551. W. Merrill St.

Presented by Carmel-based GEICO, the event is an awards ceremony and fundraiser for the United Way of Central Indiana, which works to remove barriers to health care, food, transportation and affordable housing to the 250,000-plus struggling families in its jurisdiction.

“There are currently over 237,000 households in central Indiana that are at or below the poverty line, and 25,000 of those households are in Hamilton County,” said Jennifer Hashem, public relations manager for the United Way of Central Indiana. “Additionally, Hamilton County is second only to Marion County for the number of people in central Indiana who are food insecure.”

Open to the public, the ELAVATE Gala is a circus-themed event that treats guests to circus-style food, games, drinks and entertainment. In addition, awards will be presented to nominees between the ages of 21 and 40 for Volunteer of the Year, Board Member of the Year, Employee Resource Group of the Year, Nonprofit Employee of the Year and Community Ambassador of the Year.

Last year’s inaugural event raised more than $60,000 for United Way’s Basic Needs Fund. This year’s goal is $80,000. Tickets range from $75 to $110.

For more or for tickets, visit elevate.uwci.org.

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