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United Way ELEVATE Awards honor the next generation of Game Changers

Posted by: United Way of Central Indiana
Posted: December 18, 2018
Categories: Professional Development, Civic Engagement, Community Partners

As the year wraps up, it’s natural to reflect on how you showed up for our community and our neighbors in 2018. If you were to give yourself a letter grade, where would you rate? Did you find time to volunteer with coworkers, get more civically engaged during midterm elections or donate money to help move people out of poverty? Are you thinking about adding a New Year’s resolution to find time to get “hands-on” involved with a cause or group you care about?

Each year is a potential building block towards the individual stamp we want to leave – in our careers, with our friends and family, and in our neighborhoods. For me, a big focus of my career has been “selling” the city of Indianapolis and bringing new people to experience all that it has to offer. Four years ago I found myself on the committee for United Way of Central Indiana’s signature fundraising event (then called “Red Carpet Gala”). I realized that for Central Indiana to be a place where new residents wanted to live, work and play, we had to take better care of what was around us. To me, that meant creating the kind of community where all people can thrive.

Through my work with United Way, I’ve met all kinds of people showing up to build a better Central Indiana. Increasingly, I’ve noticed that 20- and 30-somethings are taking the lead and quietly doing amazing things. Despite stereotypes about our generation, research actually suggests that we are a charitable, thoughtful generation that believes we can leave the world a better place than we’ve found it.

But so much of the impact made in our community starts with small, meaningful gestures. It happens without press conferences or video reels. United Way of Central Indiana wants to highlight the great work of young leaders and community game changers. This is exactly why our volunteer Host Committee decided to shake things up.

I’m so excited to be part of reimagining the Gala after twelve years of great success. We settled on the name ELEVATE – because we rise by lifting others. With this year’s “Havana Nights”-theme, the party will be sleek, have a throwback vibe, great music and of course, mojitos. (Hint: get your tickets before prices go up on January 1.)

To properly celebrate and recognize all the great work happening in our community by the next generation of philanthropists, volunteers and advocates, we’re incorporating ELEVATE Awards into the evening. Now through Monday, January 14, 2019 you can nominate friends or co-workers (age 21-40) in one of five great categories. Or, hey, self-nomination is cool too!

Do you know:

  • a nonprofit founder/executive director/CEO whose leadership advanced a cause or social issue?
  • an innovator who leveraged or created a new way to fundraise for or further the mission of a cause or social issue?
  • an Employee Resource Group that developed and executed an impactful event, initiative or project that addresses a social issue important to others in their company and/or Central Indiana?
  • a board member who served on a community organization or foundation board of directors who demonstrated outstanding service and commitment?
    a volunteer whose unselfish and dedicated service has made meaningful and lasting impact?
  • a board member who served on a community organization or foundation board of directors who demonstrated outstanding service and commitment?
  • a volunteer whose unselfish and dedicated service has made meaningful and lasting impact?

Every winner begins with a nomination. The form is simple and quick. And, how awesome would it be to watch your friend walk across the stage at ELEVATE on March 2, 2019 and accept their award? It’s never too late. Even when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, there’s always a reason to start, or to pick up, where you want to leave your mark. If you’re ready to get a jump start your 2019 commitment to community, you can take the first step by supporting ELEVATE through your ticket purchase or nomination of an ELEVATE Awards.


About the Author: Kaylin Dedinsky currently serves as the Project Manager for Jenni Egger Designs, an interior design company that focuses on kitchen cabinetry and custom window treatments. Know for her organizational skills and operational know-how, Kaylin specializes in managing complex situations and logistics both in project management and event design. Born and raised in Central Indiana, Kaylin lives just north of downtown with her miniature golden doodle, Louis and her cat, Reggie (BOOM BABY!). When not trying a new restaurant in downtown, you can find Kaylin cheering on the Pacers or on her family’s houseboat at Dale Hollow.

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