FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The United Way of Broward County helps families with pressing concerns like health care and affordable housing, and thanks to a generous donation from WSVN owner Ed Ansin, the organization can now keep the lights on when the community needs them the most.
7News cameras captured Ansin as he unveiled the generator at the United Way headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Tuesday. The equipment is painted blue and has the slogan “We’re changing lives every day” in large block lettering.
The sound of the new generator comes as a relief for volunteers because it means Broward County’s largest human services nonprofit can stay open if a hurricane sweeps through South Florida.
“A generator here at United Way is so vital and so important because we are hurricane central after the hurricane hits,” said Kathleen Cannon, president and CEO of United Way of Broward County. “We open the day after every hurricane. We’re serving the community.”
Ansin dedicated his donation to his late friend, longtime WSVN executive vice president and general manager Bob Leider.
“Bob was tremendously involved in civic affairs, particularly in Broward County,” said Ansin. “He lived in Fort Lauderdale, and the United Way was near the top of his list.”
Leider passed away in June after spending decades supporting South Florida charities like the United Way.
His daughter, Kim Ball, expressed her gratitude about Ansin’s generous gesture.
“It’s so special to our family. He would be so honored and so proud,” she said. “He loved the United Way, and thank you to Ed and the Ansin family.”
The Ansins are longtime supporters of the United Way. Ansin donated $500,000 to completely renovate the organization’s Broward County building in 1996. That’s why it’s named after his parents, Sidney and Sophie Ansin, who volunteered with the nonprofit starting in the 1960s.
The United Way of Miami-Dade’s building was also named after the Ansins after he made a $1 million donation in 1999.
“My dad got me involved in the United Way. The United Way is very important. Happy to be involved with it,” said Ansin.
In addition to donating the new generator, Ansin also paid for new upgrades inside and outside of the United Way of Broward’s building, including some beautiful murals.
“All this work, this is all hand done,” said Cannon. “It is two local artists, super young folks in Broward who have done this for us thanks to Mr. Ansin.”
Ansin’s donation also paved the way for a new ceiling and LED lighting on the building’s interior.
“Mr. Ansin supporting us in this building and helping us with upgrades and helping us not have to use donor dollars to upgrade the building, is such an important piece because those dollars can now go right to the community, right to the residents, right to families that need,” said Cannon.
The United Way of Broward has been helping families for 80 years, and with the new upgrades, there is no end in sight.
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