By Steve Huffman
United Way of Rowan County is scaling back its goal for the upcoming campaign drive.
But only slightly.
And only because of the recent downturn in the local economy.
The goal for the 2007 campaign drive is $1.855 million. A year ago, the campaign raised $2.016 million.
“I’m excited and confident that we’ll reach the goal and even surpass it,” said Guy Hoskins, chairman of the campaign.
Hoskins, 43, is chief financial officer for F&M Bank.
He said United Way campaign organizers factored in area plant and business closings, then deducted those losses from last year’s campaign total.
After that, they tacked on a 3 percent increase and settled on that amount as this year’s campaign goal.
“It’s a reachable goal and we’d like to exceed it,” said Jackie Harris, campaign director. “Anything over would be just wonderful.”
Hoskins and Harris said all United Way member agencies are having their shares cut by 3 percent. If the campaign goal is exceeded, those shares will likely be returned to last year’s levels.
United Way organizers are doing all they can to get contributors to make their pledges early. One motivational tool concerns tickets for the new car giveaway that’s a part of the campaign.
Those who pledge by Sept. 24 will have tripled their number of entries in the drawing for the car.
For instance, those who pledge $104, would typically have two entries in the drawing. But if they’re pledged by Sept. 24, that number will be tripled to six.
Contributors who miss the Sept. 24 deadline but pledge by Oct. 30 will have their entries doubled.
After that, the entries will be on a one-for-one basis.
Harris said the idea is to get as many pledges in as early as possible. “We like to get things in the door so we can see where we’re at,” she said.
The car is given away at the end of the campaign, with the winner able to select a vehicle from among five participating dealerships.
The campaign’s official kickoff isn’t until Sept. 25, when the grand extravaganza is launched at the J.F. Hurley YMCA. That’s the day the results of the Pacesetter Campaign are announced.
Typically, a handful of companies are selected as Pacesetters, their drives starting early to give the campaign a boost.
Sept. 13 is the United Way’s Day of Caring, when individuals from throughout the county do any number of public service projects in the community.
The United Way campaign concludes Nov. 13. Hoskins and Harris said organizers make a conscious effort to adhere to the deadline so that contributors can move their attention to other worthwhile charities ó Christmas Happiness, for instance.
Hoskins admitted that his role in this year’s campaign is proving a learning experience.
This is the first time he’s served as campaign chairman though he’s been active in the United Way for years ó in Rowan County as well as Charlotte where he lived previously and in Louisville, Ky., where he was born.
Hoskins and his wife, LeeAnna, have two children ó Chad, 13, and Madeline, 11.
Hoskins said that while he’s been involved for years in the United Way, he’s never before seen its behind-the-scenes workings the way he’s seeing it as chairman.
“We’ve got lots of good folks on the campaign,” he said. “We’ve got lots of experienced people and new folks.”
Hoskins said the number of people who have turned out for United Way training sessions have impressed him, with most of those individuals donating their time and seeking only the community’s betterment in reward.
“There are very few salaried employees,” Hoskins said of the United Way. “We have dozens and dozens and dozens of volunteers who make it happen.”
Other committee members:
Vice Chair, Larry Farmer, Catawba College; Pacesetters, Dr. Jerry Chandler, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College; Day of Caring, Tracey Castor, Rowan Medical Facilities; Training Chair, Susan Giessler, F&M Bank; CEO Cultivation/SWAT, Tim Proper, F&M Bank; Public Relations, Ronnie Smith; Presidents, Kim Shore, RWBT, and Rich Steinert, National Starch and Chemical Co.; Chairmans, Kyna Foster, Food Lion;
Industrial I, Deb Young, city of Salisbury; Industrial 2, Dan Mikkelson, city of Salisbury; Commercial I, Walter Wall, F&M Bank; Commercial 2, John Grubb, Quick Copy Print Shop; Commercial 3, Bob Fallis, F&M Bank; Public Employees, Penny Greer-Link, VA Medical Center; Education, Yvonne Tracey, Livingstone College; Special Gifts, Ray Paradowski; Leadership Giving, Paul Fisher, F&M Bank; Professionals, Jennifer Flynn, attorney
Contact Steve Huffman at 704-797-4222 or email@example.com.