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Sarah and John have been part of the United Way family for over 40 years and we are grateful for their ongoing support of United Ways around the world as donors, advocates and community champions.

Early in his career at Eli Lilly and Company, John joined a team tasked not only with managing the company’s significant growth, but also with running the United Way of Central Indiana community campaign.  Championing the United Way mission among local leaders and corporate colleagues, his dedication to United Way helped raise over $33 million for community change and continued to grow during his tenure as an executive, then CEO, at Lilly.

Sarah helped launch the women’s giving affinity group at the United Way of Central Indiana, now known as Women United - the fastest growing giving segment. Sarah didn’t just lead, she recruited a corporate chair, collaborated to develop the strategy and helped plan what became the group’s signature event for over 7 years. Even after stepping off active-duty on the Steering Committee, she continued to send new members and advocate for United Way.

Sarah and John have graciously allowed us to leverage their names to grow giving. Working with the United Way of Central Indiana, they gave a gift recently that was used as a source of matching funds to encourage Tocqueville Society members to move up to the next giving level – the Meridian Society, which now boasts nearly 100 members.  The Lechleiters also challenged local CEOs to increase their gifts by matching new gifts or increasing existing gifts.  What began as a $1 million gift generated nearly $4 million in new dollars for United Way of Central Indiana.

Sarah and John’s impact has been felt around the world as well. Together, the Lechleiters have donated millions of dollars to the United Way network, spanning five continents.  Just in the past two years as chairman of United Way Worldwide, John led engagements with corporate and community leaders in the U.S., Asia, Latin America and Europe.  At home, Sarah and John’s most recent gift will allow United Way of Central Indiana to open two new Centers for Working Families, fund childcare scholarships, launch a Great Families 2020 strategy and continue to strengthen the work accomplished through agency partners in the greater Indianapolis region.

The Lechleiters believe United Way represents the best that his country has to offer, and represents our best hope for a brighter future.

We are proud to celebrate Sarah and John Lechleiter, steadfast partners, devoted leaders and inspiring role models, with the 2016 Alexis de Tocqueville Award.

  • 2015 Tocqueville Society Award Winner

    Mr. Dominic Ng is the recipient of the 2015 United Way Tocqueville Award, the highest international honor for an individual volunteer.

    Mr. Ng is the chairman and CEO of East West Bank and has been a member of the corporate board of United Way of Greater Los Angeles (UWGLA) for more than a decade. His vision and passion have positively influenced the diversity of services and philanthropic endeavors of UWGLA.

    As the first Asian-American chair of the United Way campaign, Mr. Ng steered UWGLA in raising a record $66 million in 2000-2001. He increased the number of Chinese-American donors and encouraged a different approach to building stronger communities by funding smaller, minority-serving agencies. In 2008, he helped create the “quality of life index”, a crucial tool for better assessing the challenges that Los Angeles residents face and developing lasting solutions to the challenges.

    Under Mr. Ng’s leadership, East West Bank has also raised millions of dollars for the “Creating Pathways Out of Poverty” initiative, which helps individuals and families get on more solid financial ground. Through this initiative, half of the 3,000 adults who completed classes on financial education improved their financial habits within six months and over 44,000 individuals and families filed free tax returns under the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

  • 2014 Tocqueville Society Award Winner

    In 2014, United Way awarded our highest distinction for philanthropy, the Alexis de Tocqueville Award, to Larry and Gloria Macdonald.

    Longtime supporters of United Way, Larry and Gloria embody the ideal of global citizenship that drives our worldwide mission. For more than 28 years, they have contributed to lasting community change in their hometown of Calgary, Canada, while also supporting long-term solutions abroad.

    Larry and Gloria not only served a key leadership role in establishing United Way’s presence in France, but also dedicated their money and their time to, among other things, bringing positive change to several communities in Uganda and Ghana—the kind of real and lasting change that people can see and feel in their daily lives. Among other things, their donations to Uganda and Ghana resulted in three boreholes that provide clean drinking water to 1,500 families, a medical center that serves more than 10,000 people, and 50,000 mosquito nets distributed to stop the spread of malaria.

  • 2013 Tocqueville Society Award Winner

    United Way Tocqueville Society is proud to recognize Michael K. Hayde with the 2013 National United Way Tocqueville Society Award®.

    Mike Hayde grew up in an extremely economically challenged area. His early experiences there influenced his philosophy of philanthropy, volunteerism and the value of “second chances”, and inspired his passion for creating opportunities for all at home in Orange County and around the world.

    Mike’s involvement with United Way began in Orange County when the Tocqueville Society was in its formative stages and he was asked to join by a business competitor and philanthropist, Peter Ochs. Since then, Mike’s financial support has increased year over year and he is currently a member of the $10 Million Roundtable of the Tocqueville Society. His strategic and thoughtful giving includes support for United Way infrastructure and for valuable staff recognition and retention incentives. He also challenged Orange County United Way to “think differently” by inspiring the establishment of endowment that will provide a sustainable source of funding for the future.

    His contributions are not only financial. As a volunteer leader he has invited many of his peers to join him as members of the Million Dollar Roundtable and Tocqueville Society. He led the effort to grow the endowment through the Tocqueville Legacy Circle, asking board members and Tocqueville members to endow their gifts.