United Way Banquet - March 16, 2011

Hufford honored as an outstanding volunteer

By Leslie Bixler - Fremont News Messenger Staff writer

Gibsonburg  - Pam Hufford moved to Fremont in 1988 from Illinois for her job, and when she came to Sandusky County, the local United Way agency helped her adjust to the community.

Hufford is the 2011 recipient of the Mary Recktenwald Award presented by the United Way of Sandusky County.  She received the award Wednesday night during the United Way Annual Campaign Awards Banquet at Old Zim's Wagon Shed.

"I feel very humbled," she said after the banquet.

The Mary Recktenwald Award is presented annually to a Sandusky County resident who has served as an outstanding volunteer for United Way, a United Way member agency and additional area of community volunteer service.  The award was established in memory of Mary Recktenwald, who was an active volunteer in Sandusky County for many years.

Hufford served on the board of the United Way of Sandusky County and sits on the board for Habitat for Humanity.  She is also president of the local soroptimist club, a member of Grace Lutheran Church, and works for the Fremont Company.

She said she knew of Mary Recktenwald once she got acquainted with the community after moving to Fremont for her job with the Fremont Company, and always thought she was the true meaning of living by example.

"I will cherish this award," Hufford said at the podium.

She said the United Way was a welcoming and open to her and helped her make the transition of moving to Fremont much easier.

"I'm a huge supporter because the United Way supports the community in so many ways," she said.

She began helping out with the annual campaign and served on the board for nine years.

Although many local employers and people were recognized, some of the awards categories included the Corporate Award of Excellence; Friends of United Way, which were given to businesses that have shown corporate support of $5,000 or more; Employee Achievement Award, given in recognition to employee groups with top percentage increases in their employee United Way campaigns; Award of Excellence, which was given to businesses with 100 percent employee participation; Outstanding School Employee Campaign Award, given to the school that showed the most outstanding gain over the previous year's level of giving; 2010 Campaign "Extra Mile" Award, given to those who went above and beyond to promote the united Way and their employee campaign in the work place; and a "Helping Hand" 2010 Campaign Award, which was given to promote their employer's United Way campaign.

About $751,000 was raised in 2010, which was 88 percent of the $850,000 goal.  The 2009 campaign raised about $726,000.

Don Nalley, a campaign honorary chairman, said they had new givers last year, which included International Automotive Components and the City of Fremont.

"I think we'll see more businesses stepping up," he said.