Anonymous donor helps United Way reach goal

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 29, 2012

?If you don’t believe in miracles or divine intervention, perhaps knowing how the Rowan County United Way met its goal during the final meeting will change your mind.
In the last few minutes of announcing that the $1.78 million campaign goal was not met, Campaign Chair Denise Hallett was handed an envelope that brought tears to some and a smile to all.
The finale was held Wednesday night at Carson High School. Hallett was prepared to tell the campaign supporters the goal was just $24,263 short.
“We didn’t make our goal,” Hallett said.
Dr. Jim Duncan walked across the auditorium stage and handed Hallett a yellow manila envelope. The outside of the envelope said, “open if goal is not met.”
A handwritten letter was inside the envelope that made a request. A representative from all of the 16 member agencies were asked to stand on stage. The supporters in the audience were then asked to stand.
Hallett asked as series of questions from the letter, which the audience answered.
“Do you believe in the United Way?” she asked.
“Yes,” was the reply.
“Do you believe in the community?” Hallett asked.
“Yes,” was the answer.
“Do you believe we can make this happen?” she asked.
“Yes,” was the reply.
“Do you believe life is worth giving?” she asked.
“Yes,” the audience answered.
“Do you believe in miracles?” Hallett asked.
“Yes,” everyone answered.
The anonymous donor said in the letter standing up was a sign of support.
Hallett pulled out a check made out to the Rowan County United Way. The donor had photocopied the check, blotted out their personal information and filled in the following message on the payment amount: Whatever it takes to make the goal on Nov. 28.
Instead of a name in the top corner, the check read, “With God all things are possible.”
The check was signed by “Concerned Citizens of Rowan County.”
Hallett said as of Monday, the campaign was $83,000 short of the goal, but within the past 48 hours a group of concerned citizens and businesses rallied to “erase that deficit.”
“The success of the campaign would not have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of Food Lion, F&M Bank, Novant and our anonymous benefactor,” she said.
Hallett said she was so proud of members of the campaign cabinet because, “they believed in what the United Way does for the community.”
“I’m so thankful to all who gave and pledged their support,” Hallett said.
Don Sedgley, manager of operations at Rowan Regional Medical Center, also informed the audience Novant Health made a $20,000 pledge. It’s the first time Novant Health has made a corporate contribution for the Rowan campaign.
Even with the Novant pledge, the campaign still would have been short.
There are still campaigns ongoing, she said.
This year’s United Way campaign theme is Life is Worth Giving.
Throughout the meeting, Hallett called out names of car finalists who were eliminated.
Cindy Ingram of Rockwell was the winner. She drew from the four participating dealerships and chose Cloninger Ford/Toyota for her new car.
Four Salisbury automotive dealers — Ben Mynatt Nissan, Team Chevrolet, Gerry Wood Auto Group and Cloninger Ford/Toyota — team up to award the new car.
Ingram had said she and her husband, Sean, both employed at Freightliner had at one time been laid off at the same time. The couple sought help from the United Way to make a house payment.
When Ingram stepped off the stage, Sean embraced her, sweeping her off her feet.
“I’m still in shock,” she said after the meeting.
“We’re thankful,” Sean said.
“Blessed,” Cindy said.
He said they never contributed with the expectation of winning a car.
Cindy had said she was driving her husband’s old Honda, which had its problems. Her husband kept patching it up.
Each year, a volunteer is presented with “The Jackie,” an award for someone who has shown outstanding support and work with the campaign.
Dr. Jim Duncan received the Jackie award. The award was created last year by F&M Bank President Steve Fisher and named after Jackie Harris, the United Way campaign and marketing director.
Dancers with the Center Stage Dance Company in China Grove provided entertainment throughout the evening.
The campaign totals are:
• Presidents — $474,781.93 or 122.05 percent
• Chairmans — $320,254 or 79.08 percent
• Industrial 1 — $43,270.76 or 89.82 percent
• Industrial 2 — $60,355.64 or 125.74 percent
• Commercial 1 — $57,617.24 or 70.40 percent
• Commercial 2 — $91,823.68 or 96.66 percent
• Commercial 3 — $74,942.30 or 120.87 percent
• Public Employees — $131,517.22 or 84.85 percent
• Education — $182,200.84 or 93.51 percent
• Community Business — $6,394 or 127.88 percent
• Special Gifts — $148,607 or 102.49 percent
• Professionals — $98,813.11 or 90.19 percent
• Miscellaneous — $70,921.51 or 149.80 percent
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.