A Century Of Impact
As the dawn of 2024 arrives, United Way Suncoast proudly steps into its centennial year, marking a remarkable century of service and dedication to building stronger, more resilient communities across five counties.
From its humble beginnings as the Tampa Welfare League and Community Chest in 1924, United Way Suncoast has evolved, expanded, and persevered, all while staying true to its fundamental philosophy: “Together We’re Greater Than Any Challenge.”
United Way Suncoast’s journey from its Tampa roots to serving Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and DeSoto counties is a testament to the unwavering commitment of civic and business leaders who recognize the power of collective efforts in addressing community challenges. Through the decades, the organization has adapted to its ever-growing needs, all while upholding its core values.
Centennial Celebration Kickoff
The palpable excitement for the Centennial Celebration took center stage as the festivities kicked off on Jan. 10 at the very place where it all began 100 years ago – Tampa City Hall. Dignitaries, volunteers, and longtime partners united to commemorate achievements, acknowledge the volunteers who have been the backbone of the organization, and proudly raise the United Way Suncoast flag high above the iconic City Hall.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor started the ceremonies with a proclamation declaring Jan. 10, 2024, as United Way Suncoast Day. Jessica Muroff, CEO of United Way Suncoast passionately addressed the crowd during the Centennial Kickoff.
CEO, Muroff Expresses The Commitment To “Freedom To Rise”
“At United Way Suncoast, we often speak about giving families and community members the “Freedom To Rise,” Muroff said. “Those of you who routinely support us, have heard those words more than once. Those of you who may not know the depths of our mission work may wonder what that means.
“Well, giving people the Freedom To Rise means providing community members platforms to enhance their place in this world,” Muroff added. “Our community members turn those platforms into launching pads, whether it’s parents looking to prepare their preschoolers for the first day of kindergarten, middle school, and high school students striving for post-secondary success, or families and community members searching for financial stability.”
At the Centennial Kickoff, nonprofit partners, including The Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, The American Red Cross, The YMCA, and the Tampa Urban League, showcased their century-long commitment to community service and collaboration with United Way Suncoast, emphasizing their enduring presence since its inception.
Raising The Flag With Pride
As the Centennial Kickoff reached its pinnacle, Ernest Hooper, Chief Communications Officer at United Way Suncoast rallied the crowd to proudly raise the United Way Suncoast flag above Tampa City Hall. Amid cheers and a united spirit, the flag soared high, symbolizing not just a century of achievements but a promise to rise and win together in the years to come.
United Way Suncoast’s Centennial Celebration is not just a reflection on the past but a call to action for the future. With a renewed focus on uniting the region, supporting hard-working families, and empowering communities, the organization embarks on its second century with a resounding mantra: “United We Rise, United We Win.”
As the centennial events unfold over the next 18 months, United Way Suncoast invites neighbors from across the region to join the celebration, support the community, and be a part of the continued success story. Please visit here for more information and be inspired to contribute to a future where, together, we rise and win.