More United Way car draw candidates chosen

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 17, 2011

By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — Edwin Martinez has never won anything before, but now he’s praying to win a car.
The Landis resident was chosen as a finalist to win a car through the Rowan County United Way campaign. His name was selected at this week’s report meeting.
During each meeting names will be drawn. At the final campaign report meeting, all 12 names will be called. The final name drawn will win the car.
Martinez, who works at Freightliner, was told by his supervisor that his name was drawn.
“He surprised me. He said you are in the running for the car giveaway,” Martinez said.
The retired military veteran has been a regular contributor to the United Way for the last 15 years.
“The main thing is people need to understand we have to give, especially people with a job. That’s the least we can do,” he said.
Martinez considers it an honor to be able to help someone through his contribution.
He said agencies such as the Rowan Rescue Squad and the Family Crisis Council, which provides an emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, need the donations.
He said he knows people who have needed help from those agencies.
If he won, he would keep the car and give his youngest daughter his car.
He said she needs a better car.
Some people may rely on luck to get them a car, but Martinez believes in the power of prayer.
“I believe in God almighty,” he said.
Salisbury-native Doug Paris, the city’s interim manager, has been a regular contributor to the campaign since graduating from college and returning to Salisbury.
“I think it’s a great organization that does a lot of needed work in the community,” he said.
He was also surprised his named was drawn.
“Right now the needs are greater than ever before. It’s really meaningful to be able help,” he said.
Kathy Allen heard early on in her career with F&M bank about the United Way and its campaign.
She heard it from Paul Fisher, F&M board chairman.
“When I first came, he talked to us about the United Way and I’ve been giving ever since,” she said.
Allen said Fisher has had a huge influence on her life.
She has been a contributor for 25 years.
Allen’s co-worker, who was at the report meeting, told her that her name was selected.
“I was excited,” she said about the unexpected call.
“I’ve been very blessed and a part of that for all of us is to give back to the community,” Allen said.
She said Salisbury has been good to her family.
Her son was a Boy Scout and she and her daughter have been Meals on Wheels volunteers for four years.
Boy Scouts and Meals on Wheels are United Way agencies.
Billy Sellers would say to others contemplating giving to the United Way to just follow your heart.
Sellers, who works at Performance Fibers, has been giving to the United Way for more than 10 years.
Sellers wasn’t thinking about being in the running for a car when he made his donation.
Someone from work told Sellers he’d been selected.
“I said, ‘what a blessing,’ ” Sellers said of hearing the news.
There are people who are in need.
“You never know who may need something. It’s a blessing to be a blessing,” he said.
If he won the car he’d give it to his wife, who needs a car.
Four local vehicle dealers are participating — Ben Mynatt Nissan, Gerry Wood Auto Group, Team Chevrolet and Cloninger Ford/Toyota. The winner will select a vehicle from one of the dealers.
As of Wednesday, there has been more than $724,600 pledged toward this year’s campaign.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.