Freightliner employee wins United Way car giveaway

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 17, 2011

By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — The United Way exceeded its $1.6 million campaign goal but is not done, with contributions still on the horizon.
At Wednesday night’s grande finale, it was announced the community contributed $1,619,081.08 to the campaign.
The finale was held at the Norvell Theater.
“The need is much greater than the increase we’ve budgeted,” said Campaign Chairman Steve Fisher.
Fisher called the campaign a stormy one.
He said there are people in the community who are hurting, who have given to the campaign.
He said there is still a need in the community.
“We are not done. We still have a lot of money outstanding,” Fisher said.
There are still campaigns that haven’t been completed. One of those companies still raising money is Food Lion.
Food Lion recently made a $100,000 corporate donation and has said once its employees finish its campaign, the company will match the employee contributions.
During each meeting, names were drawn. At this final campaign report meeting, all 12 names were called. The finalists for the car giveaway were eliminated until the winner remained.
The winner of the car was Edwin Martinez. Martinez, of Landis, will choose a car from Cloninger Ford/Toyota.
When the others were eliminated, Martinez thought he’d be eliminated also.
“I was saying to myself, ‘I am next,’ ” he said.
Martinez said before Wednesday night’s drawing, he prayed to God that the person who received the car would be the person who needed it most.
He said he didn’t realize at the time that person would be him.
Martinez has contributed to the campaign for a number of years through his job at Freightliner.
Martinez, who is retired from the military, was in the United States Army and the Marine Corps.
He said he was nervous, excited and jittery, all at the same time, just like he was when he graduated from boot camp.
Martinez held in his hand his Marine Corps challenge coin.
Edwin’s wife, Yolanda, said she was happy for him.
She said her heart was pounding when finalists after finalists were eliminated.
She sat with Freda Powell, with Freightliner’s human resources department. The two held hands as the names were called and screamed when Martinez won.
Martinez is also a part of the Salisbury National Guard and volunteers with Toys for Tots.
This year the campaign volunteers created an award — “The Jackie” — named after Jackie Harris, the United Way’s campaign and marketing director.
“This award is given to an individual who has undeniable passion for helping people, who doesn’t take no for an answer,” Fisher said.
The first annual award was given to Denise Hallett.
Hallett said she heard Fisher say at the beginning of the campaign failure was not an option because “we just weren’t going to let people down in this community.”
Campaign totals are:
• Presidents — $352,545.25 or 112.59 percent
• Chairmans — $319,222.90 or 113.31 percent
• Industrial 1 — $44,175.43 or 92.56 percent
• Industrial 2 — $45,464.61 or 83.52 percent
• Commercial 1 — $65,603.45 or 77.01 percent
• Commercial 2 — $91,353.54 or 115.93 percent
• Commercial 3 — $60,857.54 or 82.74 percent
• Public employees — $127,273.94 or 81.07 percent
• Education — $190,088.82 or 99.47 percent
• Community business — $4,523 or 126.30 percent
• Special gifts — $150,662 or 100.44 percent
• Professionals — $104,678.27 or 103.16 percent
• Miscellaneous — $62,632.33 or 100.58 percent
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.