Wood County Society receives $5K Game Changer gift

The Wood County Society was the first organization to receive a $5,000 gift Friday through the Game Changer program financed by DuPont through the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley. From left are Greg Westbrook and Mary Kay Welch of DuPont, Amy Arnold and Michelle Lewis of the United Way, Wood County Society Executive Director Brandon Gress and Stacy DeCicco and Kate Miller of United Way. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — The first allocation from a major gift from DuPont to the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio was made on Friday morning.

A check for $5,000 was presented to the Wood County Society. The Society, which dedicated the facility on Thursday on Eighth Street, operates 11 programs that provide education, advocacy and a therapeutic intent for youth and adults with developmental and physical disabilities.

DuPont contributed $60,000 to the United Way, creating the Game Changer program where $5,000 contributions will be made once a month to 12 over the next year.

On hand for the presentation to the Wood County Society was Mary Kay Welch of DuPont, who leads the Employee Resource Group, Washington Works Persons with Disabilities and their Allies. The group was formed to help employees with disabilities and those caring for someone with a disability and provides assistance in finding resources needed to live a fulfilling life.

She attended the open house this week.

“We are actively looking for ways to connect our members with community supports,” she said. “The opportunity for collaboration with Wood County Society has just opened up endless possibilities.”

Brandon Gress, executive director of the Wood County Society, was emotionally overwhelmed when the surprise presentation was made.

“We are so extremely honored to be the first recipient of the Game Changer recognition from DuPont and United Way,” he said. “The generous gift will allow Wood County Society to continue to be a catalyst of change throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley.”

The Wood County Society project is the “true essence of what we do,” United Way Executive Director Stacy DeCicco said. “United Way is a conduit, plain and simple. We are the connector between good intentions and true impact. We know how to build bridges, create partnerships and facilitate collaborations. The monetary gift from DuPont is amazing; the partnership with that company has provided so much for our community. It will ignite so many opportunities and start so many conversations. We are just truly humbled to be a part of it and so thankful for the opportunity to bring this impact to our community.”

The Game Changer recognition program will continue through July. Eleven more organizations will become recipients and receive the recognition.

“It will be great to see it all unfold,” Greg Westbrook, DuPont production manager, said. “It’s these opportunities for partnership that make the greatest change. When we work together in common purpose, we truly walk out the mission of living united. That’s what it is all about”.

The Game Changer program is entirely funded by DuPont. Organizations are selected based on high-impact visibility and sustainable presence.

The group selected each month will receive a surprise visit from an announcement team of DuPont and United Way members, who will present the the organization and a check for $5,000.

The selected organization will also receive additional media opportunities throughout their month. Data will be collected by the United Way as a part of a follow up process to determine where the money is invested by the organizations and to help measure the true impact of the gift.

“We recognize the significant impact that nonprofits make in our community. We know that the Mid Ohio Valley is a stronger healthier community because of the many nonprofits that contribute services and supports here. We love working with the United Way and treasure that partnership,” Westbrook said.