We recently recognized individuals and organizations who have made an exceptional impact in our region and through United Way Quad Cities. The thirteen award winners represent Community Champions who volunteer, advocate or invest in ways that make the Quad Cities the best place for students to succeed, families to live and businesses to grow.
| Volunteer of the Year Award
The Volunteer of the Year award is given to someone who dedicates themselves to service and helps promote the spirit of leading, influencing and volunteering. Sherwin Robinson is the owner of 4 Sher Cut & Style Barber Shop in Davenport. He founded “A System Within A System” – a program to help men embrace their leadership roles in the household and community. He is passionate about supporting young males through their transition to adulthood.
Robinson has been the driving force in establishing and implementing United Way’s Books & Barbers program, a literacy and self-confidence initiative for elementary school students.
“I don’t do it for the awards, I do it for passion,” Robinson said. “I do it for the kids who don’t have fathers in their lives. It comes down to unity and community.”
| Ignite Award
United Way’s Ignite Award goes to Group O for “igniting” their employees for good in the community. As a lead sponsor of Read United, Group O also stands out for fostering employee engagement through a giving campaign and volunteer hours.
“Group O is committed to making the Quad Cities a better place,” said Maria Ontiveros, training associate at Group O. “Our employees wanted to get involved, because they know the impact of United Way and its partner agencies. It’s an easy decision for them.”
Group O is also the most recent company to sign on to United Way’s QC Dividend Program. The program, which was launched by United Way Quad Cities and multiple founding businesses, promotes corporate philanthropy by recognizing and honoring companies and organizations that donate at least 1 percent of their pre-tax earnings to charitable organizations.
Annette Sherbeyn & Sunder Subbaroyan
| Bridgebuilder Award
Annette Sherbeyn and Sunder Subbaroyan first became involved with United Way as Tocqueville Society members. United Way recognized them with the Bridgebuilder Award for going above and beyond to raise engagement and make a lasting impact. They donated their time to host an exquisite dinner event that raised more than $85,000 to help United Way launch an initiative, called Vision to Learn, to provide vision screenings, eye exams and glasses to students in underserved neighborhoods beginning fall 2023.
“United Way Quad Cities’ focus on early childhood educational development resonates with us,” Subbaroyan said. “We are grateful to have been allowed to play a role in increasing community engagement in support of Vision to Learn.”
| Quad Cities Humanitarian Award
The Quad Cities Humanitarian Award is given to an individual who clearly demonstrates extraordinary leadership. It is the highest single honor of philanthropic recognition in the Quad Cities by United Way. Jim Victor is honored for setting an example through his incredible generosity of both gifts and volunteer time.
“Jim Victor lived his life with the spirit of generosity. He didn’t just write checks. He gave his time, loved children and offered hope to everyone he met,” said Jim Victor’s long-time business partner, Sheila Volrath. “Recognizing Jim with the Humanitarian Award is perfect because that’s what he dedicated his life to.”
We also recognized the impact of the following individuals and organizations that demonstrate dedication to our community through generosity, leadership and advocacy.
| Community Pillar Award
BITCO Insurance Companies
| Inspire Award
| Outstanding Young Philanthropist Award
| Momentum Award
| Outstanding Corporate Engagement Award
City of Bettendorf
Eastern Iowa Community College
| Campaign Champion of the Year Award
Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors
| Community Impact Award
Quad City Federation of Labor
| Labor Impact Award
Hunt & Diane Harris
| Lifetime Achievement Award
All of our Community Champions award winners received a personalized glass trophy and recognition at United Way’s Generosity Dividend Event held Wednesday, April 5, at John Deere World Headquarters.