by Cristi Wetterberg
Senior Resource Development Executive

Every year at our Diamond Donor recognition event, we have a lot of fun–but one of my favorite things we do is recognize the longest giving donor to United Way of Salt Lake and then we present that donor with a beautiful vase donated by O.C. Tanner.  Deborah Bayle, UWSL’s President and CEO, asks all the Diamond Donors to stand, and then she asks who has been giving for at least 26 years to keep standing, then 27 and 28 and so forth–until the donor who has given the longest is the only one standing.  This year Phyllis Tatum who works for Intermountain Healthcare was the longest giving guest!  Here is her story about how and why she started giving to United Way….

“I started working for LDS Hospital in February of 1970. At that time all staff was encouraged to participate in the United Way Drive each year. I wanted to do my part to help even in a small way to support the community. I have always felt privileged to say that I support United Way of Salt Lake. I am aware there is greater need in our communities than any one person alone can assist with. I felt overwhelmed with the honor of being the long time donor in this year’s group. I am sure there are many that have donated more than I, but I know that even a little amount given consistently helps in the long run.”

This year we added a new recognition gift; the youngest Diamond Donor There is a vicious rumor that Diamond Donors are “old” – so to prove that this is not the case, we asked our Diamond Donors to stand if they were 45 years or younger and then Deborah kept decreasing the age until we got to the Youngest Diamond DonorThis year Katherina Holzhauser was our youngest Diamond Donor in attendance at our event!  Here is her story of how and why she got involved with United Way of Salt Lake and why she continues to support her community!

“In 1986 while still attending college, I started working at The Boeing Company.  United Way had a strong campaign at Boeing and United Way Boosters met with each employee to make “the Ask”.  At that time, United Way had some controversies and I was hesitant to participate.  My United Way Booster, however, was very good at listening to my concerns and offered a new option which was to designate to agencies, which I did (or did not) wish to donate to.  So I “joined” United Way.  I was so impressed with the whole process, that during the following year’s campaign, I became a Booster myself!

I moved to Utah with my family in 1999 and got involved in learning about United Way of Salt Lake.  My family already makes a significant donation to our church, but United Way of Salt Lake’s process of evaluating the community needs and making sure we “fill in the gaps,” continues to make United Way of Salt Lake the next top charity on my family’s list.   I have supported United Way of Salt Lake through my companies’ campaigns, and this last year, I joined the Women’s Philanthropic Network as an independent business owner.  I believe that communities thrive when women thrive, and I like that WPN is focused on making that happen!”

Thanks again to all our Diamond Donors whose ongoing loyal support works to change the odds for kids and families. Thank you for LIVING UNITED!