Rowan United Way dreams big for 2013-2014 campaign

  • Posted: Saturday, September 7, 2013 12:51 a.m.
    UPDATED: Saturday, September 7, 2013 12:52 a.m.
The Livingstone College Gospel Choir performs Friday at the kickoff for the United Way’s annual fundraising campaign.
The Livingstone College Gospel Choir performs Friday at the kickoff for the United Way’s annual fundraising campaign.

United Way members have high hopes for the local chapter’s 2013-14 fundraising season. The campaign kicked off Friday at the Rowan Agricultural Center with drawings and a surprise performance by the Livingstone Gospel Choir.

The Rowan County United Way supports 15 agencies throughout the county including the Arc of Rowan, the Rowan County Rescue Squad, the Salvation Army, the YMCA of Rowan, and the Elizabeth Hanford Dole chapter of the American Red Cross. These services were utilized by more than 72,000 Rowan County residents last year.

United Way Campaign Chairman Dr. Jim Duncan says the main focus of this year’s event was raising awareness.

“I felt people did not know what the 15 agencies were, and that we’re local. That money raised here stays here,” he said.

And “Raised Here. Stays Here” is the slogan of this year’s campaign. Last year the Rowan County United Way raised just over $1.8 million. This year the goal has been increased to $1.825 million.

While anyone can donate to the Rowan County United Way via its website (, the 2013-14 campaign is also reaching out to younger generations. This year, supporters of Livingstone or Catawba colleges can donate $5 by texting #Indians or #Bears to 704-633-1802.

Presidents of both colleges were eager to be a part of the plan. Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, president of Livingstone College, said that he could “see the enthusiasm” on everyone’s faces when the texting plan was proposed, and that he was proud to be a part of it. The plan isn’t restricted to college students, either.

“Anyone with a cellphone can do this,” Catawba College President Brien Lewis said.

Lewis said that both colleges plan to advertise the strategy in the week leading up to the big Livingstone vs. Catawba football game on Sept. 14. The game begins at 6 p.m. at Livingstone College.

No matter how vigorous the rivalry between the two colleges is, Jenkins said, at the end of the day the United Way wins.

Freelance writer Rebecca Rider lives in Rowan County.

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