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Rick Dunlap has been giving to the Rowan County United Way capital campaign for several years and routinely earmarks his donation for Communities in Schools.
Dunlap, an assistant principal at Southeast Middle School, said he’s seen firsthand the impact the program can have on students.
He never imagined his contribution could lead to a new car. Dunlap is one of three people whose names were chosen this week during the campaign report meeting and placed in the running to win a car.
Two other names chosen were Suzanne Burgess, assistant finance director for Rowan County, and Danny Wright of Daimler Trucks North America.
At the end of the campaign there will be 12 finalists in the running to win a car from one of four automotive dealers — Ben Mynatt Nissan, Gerry Wood Auto Group, Cloninger Ford, Toyota, Scion and Team Chevrolet.
Dunlap said he learned his name was drawn during the meeting from Southeast Middle School Principal Jennifer Lentz. Her husband saw Dunlap’s name in the newspaper.
“I was just surprised. I’ve never been in a position to win something of such magnitude,” he said.
Dunlap said the local United Way does a lot in the community including Day of Caring, where volunteers undertake projects and repairs at area schools and nonprofits.
The Kannapolis native said he doesn’t need a new car but has been pondering getting a new one that gets better gas mileage.
Danny Wright estimates he’s been giving to the United Way campaign for 10 years. He gives, he said, because “people need help, and so I’m fortunate to make what I make and I can give.”
“I can’t believe it. I’m trying not to think about it,” he said of his name being chosen.
Wright said he doesn’t really need a car, but could use the funds from the sale of one.
Since the Woodleaf native found out his name was drawn, Wright said he’s been praying he’d win.
Attempts to reach Burgess were unsuccessful.
The campaign totals show the money raised so far is $850,240 or 46.6 percent of the campaign goal. The money raised through the campaign supports 15 agencies throughout the county.
Anyone who would like to contribute to the campaign can contact the Rowan County United Way at 704-633-1802.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253. Twitter: www.twitter.com/salpostpotts Facebook: www.facebook.com/Shavonne.SalisburyPost.

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