United Way’s signature fundraising event ELEVATE to be presented virtually in 2021

INDIANAPOLIS – Given the current guidelines for social distancing and in-person events in Central Indiana, United Way will shift its third annual fundraising event, ELEVATE presented by GEICO, to a virtual format on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021.
This year’s event, “Around the World in 80 Days 90 Minutes,” is designed to take guests on a virtual tour of Campinas, Brazil; Monza, Italy; and Taipei, Taiwan – three of Indianapolis’ sister cities – while honoring young philanthropists for their leadership and raising needed funds for food, housing assistance, transportation support and health services. In the last two years, ELEVATE has raised more than $145,000 to support United Way’s basic needs initiative. In 2021, proceeds from ELEVATE become even more critical, as more individuals and families have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“GEICO supports United Way of Central Indiana to make a better tomorrow for those facing challenging times,” said Lona Montgomery, Assistant Vice President of the Indianapolis office. “We believe in supporting the communities where our associates live and work, and that is especially true now when so many of our neighbors are facing difficulties such as job loss, health issues, and financial uncertainty—all areas where United Way and its partners can help.”
Nominations Open for the ELEVATE Awards

Created in 2019, the ELEVATE Awards recognize and celebrate five young professionals and one group who lead on important community social issues through advocacy, volunteerism or philanthropy. To be eligible, the nominee(s) must live or work in Marion, Morgan, Hamilton, Hendricks, Hancock or Boone County, Indiana. Individual nominees must be under the age of 41 on or before the nomination deadline date, January 17, 2021. Nominees for the group award should specify that their resource group is comprised of a majority of individuals under the age of 40. To nominate a young professional, visit uwci.org/elevate.
This year’s ELEVATE Award categories are as follows:
Community Ambassador: Young professional with a passion for Central Indiana who is committed to raising awareness of local issues and opportunities that help their peers become more connected to our community and invested in its growth.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advocate presented by GEICO: Young professional or small group (either through an employer or as a volunteer) who has committed to raising awareness and advocating for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive Central Indiana community.
Nonprofit Employee: Young professional nonprofit employee who makes exceptional contributions in the workplace and displays leadership qualities that go above and beyond their job responsibilities.
Volunteer: Young professional volunteer whose unselfish and dedicated service has made meaningful and lasting impact in Central Indiana.
Volunteer Leadership presented by BMO Harris Bank: Young professional who served on a board of directors or committee for a nonprofit organization or foundation and has demonstrated outstanding service, leadership and commitment to its objectives.
Employee Resource Group presented by Eli Lilly and Company: A corporate supported Employee/Business Resource Group that developed and executed an impactful event, virtual experience, initiative or project that addresses a social issue important to others in their company and/or Central Indiana.
ELEVATE presented by GEICO is organized by a host committee of young professionals, led this year by co-chairs Ellie Hall, Associate Consultant Scientist, Eli Lilly and Company and Michelle Gary, Manager, ERS/Centralized Services, GEICO.
“Working with the United Way Elevate Committee has been extremely rewarding over the past two years,” said Gary. “I am forever grateful for the opportunity because it allows me to make a difference for those who are going through a difficult time and show that that I’ve been there and come out on the other side.”
“Leading the ELEVATE committee has given me an opportunity to dive into the needs of our community and learn more how United Way supports the effort to improve the lives of thousands of families,” said Hall. “Being a part of this committee is a great opportunity to network with like-minded young professionals who are making a real difference throughout our community.”
Virtual Ticket Information

This year’s ELEVATE will be presented online for all to experience at no charge; however special VIP packages are available for those who prefer to elevate their support of United Way. Individuals can register at uwci.org/elevate.




About United Way of Central Indiana: United Way is a community of donors, advocates, volunteers, and partners who fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. United Way invites all members of our community to LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering to improve lives in Central Indiana. Visit www.uwci.org to learn more.

Jessica DiSanto | Senior Director of Communications at United Way of Central Indiana

Bryn Eudy | Vox Global