United Way campaign misses goal

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 22, 2011

By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — The Rowan County United Way fell short of its fundraising goal, but the agency brought in more money than last year.
“While we did not make our goal, it was certainly a positive to raise more than we did the year before,” said United Way Campaign and Marketing Director Jackie Harris.
The total amount that came in for this year’s campaign was $1.56 million,  a 1.7 percent increase over last year. The campaign goal was $1.65 million.
Harris called it a step in the right direction.
“The economy has not changed much, but it’s a compliment to the community, the board leadership, volunteers and the agencies,” she said.
The campaign tally was announced Monday during the United Way’s annual meeting, which was held at the Holiday Inn.
The guest speaker was Marvin Pittman, former senior assistant to the state superintendent of public schools and former director of school improvement for the Department of Public Instruction. He also taught math and science in Wake County and served as principal.
Pittman discussed the United Way’s role in education and about the grant it received to explore the issue of teacher effectiveness.
He said the community should ask the question whether the most effective teachers are in areas where they are most needed.
Pittman encouraged the community to ask how their school system ranks.
“When I look at your data, this community has quite a few students who are struggling,” Pittman said.
The problems extend beyond Rowan County, he said. There are students who graduate from high schools across the state who are not prepared for life and the work-world, he said. He said the community needs to more to support teachers and schools.
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The United Way acknowledges a person for their outstanding service each year by honoring them with the Helping Hand Award. This year’s recipient was Dean Fields, who is in his third year of serving on the board of directors. He has worked at numerous sites for the Day of Caring and he serves on the local coordinating committee for combined federal campaign.
Fields has served on the campaign cabinet, leading the public employees division to exceed its goal. He has also conducted the U.S. Postal Service food drives in Rowan County bringing in a total of 20,000 pounds of food last year.
“He is always willing to help, always has a positive attitude and creates fun when working with him,” said outgoing President Grant Harrison.
Harrison also thanked each of the automobile dealers for fundraising efforts and for donating a car. The participating dealerships were Ben Mynatt Nissan, Cloninger Ford/Toyota/Scion, Gerry Wood Auto Group and Team Chevrolet.
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The United Way recognizes companies who’ve made special effort during the campaign.
• Most Employee Spirit: Hefner VA Medical Center.
The employees showed that it takes teamwork to be successful. They held several special events including a “Dancing with the Stars” program and a basket raffle. The center’s annual campaign was its most successful.
• Most Improved: Lutheran Home.
The award is for the highest percentage of increase in an employee campaign. The Lutheran Home had a 240 percent increase.
• Most Corporate Spirit: Freightliner.
Company employees  participated in allocations, provided volunteers for the annual Day of Caring event and held meetings with all of the employees who helped get the word out during the campaign.
The company even gave incentives to employees and matched employee giving dollar-for-dollar. Freightliner had a 255 percent increase in its total campaign.
• Campaign Chairman’s Achievement Award: Norandal USA.
This award is given to the company that had involvement from its CEO, employee involvement, showed improvement in its campaign and its efforts to get the United Way message to its employees.
• Best Overall Campaign: less than 100 employees, Bank of North Carolina.
The criteria for this award is for the company with the highest per capita gift combining corporate and employee pledges. The company had first place with a per capita of $785.20.
The company with more than 100 employees that won first place was F&M Bank, with a per capita of $397.30.
• Campaign Award for Excellence: less than 100 employees, Gerry Wood Auto Group.
The criteria for the award is a company’s overall performance over a three-year span. The total amount raised was $14,232 with per capita giving last year at $180. The percentage of participation was 54 percent up from 46 percent.
The company with more than 100 employees is the City of Salisbury, with a total amount raised $66,618, or a 4 percent increase over last year.
The percentage of participation was 72 percent up from 58 percent.
Also during the meeting, new board directors were appointed. They are: Larry Farmer, Penny Greer-Link, Denise Hallett, Grant Harrison, Brian Miller, James Randolph, Ronnie Smith, Rich Steinert and Mike Stewart.
The officers are: president, Guy Hoskins; vice president of planning, Penny Greer-Link; vice president of allocations, Mike Williams; vice president of agency relations, Bill Burgin; vice president of public relations, Michelle Patterson; and secretary/treasurer, Burt Brinson.