February 20, 2020

The United Way of the Mark Twain Area works in the community to empower individuals to achieve their potential through education, financial stability, and healthy lives.
Next month four individuals in the community who live out the mission and vision of the United Way within their own lives will be honored at the United Way’s first annual Evening of Philanthropy sponsored by Benson Financial and WGEM.
Life-Long Philanthropist: Betty Anderson of Monroe City
Betty Anderson has worked her entire lifetime caring for. As a registered nurse who worked at Levering Hospital, the Marion County Health Department, and the Ralls County Health Department, she has been passionate about improving the health of our community. Anderson is a founding member of the Hannibal Free Clinic. When the clinic opened their doors, her work did not end. Rather it just began. Since she retired in 2007, Anderson has volunteered at the Hannibal Free Clinic each week coordinating the Medication Assistance Program. Since that time, she has secured donations of over $17 million worth of medications for the patients of the Hannibal Free Clinic. She works tirelessly to ensure individuals in the community have the medications they need to be healthy and stay out of the hospital.
Philanthropic Couple: Pat & Connie Benson of Hannibal
Together Pat and Connie Benson make a big difference, not only in our community, but in the world. Locally Pat serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Hannibal Regional Healthcare System. He is on the Hannibal Police and Fire Pension Board, a former United Way Board Member and Campaign Chair, and more. They both mentor through Hannibal Alliance for Youth Success, are past Campaign Chairs for the Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign, and much more. Additionally, the Bensons are members of the United Way Legacy giving society and are frequently investing in local causes that better

the community. Outside of the local area, the Bensons are involved in Love in the Lou a group for at-risk youth in St. Louis. They are also extremely involved in building and planning a school in Uganda Africa. The Bensons helped acquire land along the Nile River to build a boarding school for higher-level education for students who have graduated from the grade school. Additionally, the two enjoy their job as Grandma and Grandpa. They do great work by dedicating their time, talents, and treasures to causes

bigger than themselves.
Philanthropic Individual: Sharon Webster of Rural Palmyra, Mo.
Sharon Webster began her career as a nurse at St. Elizabeth’s hospital. She then went into home health care and has continually cared for those in need in our community. Webster now works day in and day out advocating for the medical, dental, and mental health care of the hundreds of clients of the Free Clinic. She is a shining example of what it means to give of your time, talents, and treasurers to causes bigger than herself. One Thanksgiving a board member of the Hannibal Free Clinic ran into Webster at County Market. She had a cart full of groceries needed for a big Thanksgiving dinner. It

turned out these groceries weren’t for her family dinner. Rather, they were for a patient of the Hannibal Free Clinic who had cancer. He had no job and no family. Sharon just could not stand to see him be without a Thanksgiving dinner. Sharon made certain he had a Thanksgiving meal. She continuously goes above and beyond for the patients of the Hannibal Free Clinic through her great work.
Philanthropic Youth: Ethan Romig of Hannibal, Mo.
Ethan Romig strives to make people smile through his monthly Random Acts of Kindness. He has rang bells for the Salvation Army, volunteered at the humane society and cuddle cat rescue, made Christmas Ornaments for local nursing homes, put together goodie bags for individuals receiving cancer treatment at the James E. Carry Cancer Center, and so much more. As an 11 year old, he says, ”Give Happiness to

Others! We can do Random Acts of Kindness every minute, every hour, every day. It can

be big things or small things. Like opening doors for people, putting the carts away,

picking up something someone dropped. Spread happiness to the community!”
Join the United Way at the Evening of Philanthropy to celebrate these individuals on

Saturday, March 14th at the Star Theater and Pavilion in downtown Hannibal. Doors open

at 5:30p with dinner served at 6:30p. The evening is sponsored by WGEM and Benson

Financial. Tickets can be purchased by calling the United Way office at 573-221-2761 or

online at http://unitedwaymta.org/events.