[The Brazil Times nameplate] Overcast ~ 44°F  
High: 64°F ~ Low: 55°F
Thursday, May 5, 2016

UW announces $110,000 goal

Friday, August 27, 2004

Former olympian Bruce Rosselli spoke to the United Way and members of their agencies at the 2004 kickoff event.

THIS YEAR'S GOAL: $110,000

LAST YEAR'S GOAL: $105,000

Outstanding Corporate Support Award: Great Dane Trailers

Outstanding Employee Support Award: Great Dane Trailers


Gold Award: Northview High School

Silver Award: North Clay Middle School

Bronze Award: Forest Park Elementary

Approximately two years ago, Bruce Rosselli strapped on his helmet and raced around a course for the last time. A bobsled driver, he led his team around sharp, slick curves at over 100 miles an hour, climbing out of the sled cheering as it came to a halt.

It was the Winter Olympic Games, and security was tight. Knowing it was his last race, however, he talked his way through a barrage of security guards to reach NBC headquarters, where he talked to a producer about getting a tape of his performance.

"I told him this was the last run in a bobsled of my career," he said. "Finally he said 'Sure, I can get that for you.'"

Now that he's off the course, Rosselli does a number of things, primarily involving his work with Eli Lilly and his restaurant, Rosselli's, located in Terre Haute. On other occasions he speaks, like he did at Thursday's United Way Kickoff.

After a lunch and announcements of programs and officers, United Way Treasurer George Long announced the UW's fiscal goal for the year: $110,000. This figure is up $5,000 from last year's.

"The $110,000 is our promise," Long said.

Clay County United Way's money is used to support a variety of programs within and outside of the county, including the Clay County Emergency Food Pantry, Covered Bridge Girl Scout Council, 4-H Council, and Well Child clinic.

President Todd Pierce then took the stand to introduce Rosselli to the crowd.

"He shows his character through his Christian walk of life," Pierce said. A 1999 2-man champion award driver, among other titles, Rosselli said the key to success is setting what he called "internal goals."

"Whatever the publicly announced goal is, aim higher," he said. "You want to be constantly raising that bar for yourself."

To prove his point, the olympian said the first time he tried bobsledding, he didn't particularly care for it. His driver had only driven the course they were on six times prior, and his first time around the track left him with a large gash in his arm.

"I didn't want anyone to know I'd been hurt, so I kept going," he said. Later that day he was in the hospital "getting stitched up."

Though he didn't want to, he kept trying and soon he tried driving a bobsled instead of riding in one. Instantly he was hooked.

"Anything is possible if we set our minds to it and we pray for it," he said.

Rosselli applied that same ethic to his work with United Way, setting internal goals and achieving more than his superiors thought was possible. When his work with UW began, he was given a list of "accounts," or donors to the program, he needed to speak with.

He persuaded a number of his clients to up their donations to United Way, showing them how they benefited from agencies UW supported.

"They've all been touched by agencies like yours," he said. "What you put into the community helps people get their jobs, spend money in the community, and keep those jobs."

Through his perserverance, several clients doubled their contributions as well as those clients' employees. In the end, he came out $100,000 over his publicly announced goal.

Rosselli has other goals for the future. He said three countries have asked him to coach bobsled teams in the 2006 Winter Games.

Even without the athletic accomplishments, however, Rosselli has a strong track record. He told the crowd they were the same way.

"What you're doing is sometimes not rewarded, but people know what you're doing," he said.

United Way Agencies:

Area 7 on Aging & Disabled

American Red Cross, Wabash Valley Chapter

Big Brother/Big sister

Boy Scouts of America, Crossroads of America Council

Clay County Children's Medical Assistance

Clay Community Parks Association

Clay County Emergency Food Pantry

Clay County Christmas Assistance Program

Clay County Cooperative Benevolence Ministry

Clay County Sheriff's Reserve

Council on Domestic Abuse

Covered Bridge Girl Scout Council

Family Services Association

4-H Council

Food Pantry of Southern Clay County

Habitat for Humanity

Literacy Coalition

Little Creek Special Equestrians

Salvation Army

Search & Rescue

Senior Citizens Center

Well Child Clinic

YMCA of Clay County

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: