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March 27, 2013

Barbara and Al Siemer Honored with 2012 United Way National Tocqueville Society Award

Prestigious award recognizes the work of the Siemer Institute for Family Stability as a model for the United Way network

Columbus, Ohio – Central Ohio philanthropists Barbara and Al Siemer will receive the 2012 National Tocqueville Society Award presented by United Way Worldwide. This award is the highest honor the Tocqueville Society bestows and it recognizes unparalleled leadership in philanthropy. Previous honorees include Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Leslie Wexner, Bob Hope, and the Gates family. Tocqueville Society members are United Way's most generous donors with annual gifts of $10,000 and above.

The Siemers are being recognized for the effective work they have pioneered in helping families in financial crisis stay in their homes and keep their children in their schools. They have been involved in this work since 2003, and in 2011 launched the Siemer Institute for Family Stability which funds family stability programs at United Way organizations across the country.

The Institute has been remarkably successful and has grown from programs in 10 cities at its launch to 22 cities today. By the end of 2013, the total number of participating cities is projected to be 40 and by the end of 2014 the total is projected to be 50 communities. Since the launch of the Institute in June, 2011, more than 7,000 families with more than 16,000 children have been helped.

The Institute is one of the leading examples in the nation of collective impact which creates broad social change by uniting people and organizations to work toward common goals, while learning from each other through open and active communications. One of the keys to the success of the Institute is the fact that each community can tailor their programs to meet local needs and select partners that are most capable of delivering results.

"Barbara and Al Siemer's accomplishments go far beyond their philanthropic leadership," said Stacey Stewart, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide. "With the Siemer Institute for Family Stability, they have created a model for the future of the United Way network. We can most effectively address the issues facing communities around the world by bringing them together to learn from each other and work toward a common purpose in education, income and health. The Institute demonstrates how the power of our far-reaching network can be harnessed to advance the common good."

"Barbara and Al are world class philanthropists and social innovators, and receiving the prestigious National Tocqueville Award is a well-deserved recognition of the importance of their work," said Janet E. Jackson, President and CEO, United Way of Central Ohio. "They care deeply about families in crisis and the effect that has on the education of their children. Through their generosity the Siemer Institute for Family Stability has helped thousands of families stay in their homes and keep their kids in their current schools."

The Siemers will receive the 2012 United Way National Tocqueville Society Award at the Tocqueville Leaders Gathering in Washington, DC on April 12.

Learn more about The Siemer Institute for Family Stability: http://familystability.org

Media Contact

Kermit Whitfield, United Way of Central Ohio

(614) 227-2726   kermit.whitfield@uwcentralohio.org