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United Way at 20 percent of fundraising goal

Fundraising for the local United Way is going strong, according to results delivered Wednesday.

The Rowan County United Way held its first report meeting at the Hurley YMCA on Jake Alexander Boulevard.

Ben Mynatt Nissan hosted the event.

Veterans from the Community Living Center Choir of the VA Medical Center kicked off the meeting with a melody of patriotic songs, including, “America the Beautiful,” “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The musical selections complemented the United Way’s theme for this year: “Red, White and U – United We Can.”

Division representatives reported their fundraising campaign totals for this period.

The total goal for the 2015-16 year is $1,999,999.99, and right now the campaign has raised about 20 percent of that goal, totaling about $384,252.

United Way board of directors President Steve Fisher said getting to almost 20 percent of the goal is where the organization wants to be for this time of year.

“I fully believe that this campaign has gotten off to a great start,” he said.

At the beginning of the meeting, Penny Greer-Link, the general campaign chairperson, set out an empty water jug for attendees to donate their change.

She said when it comes to helping the community, every penny counts.

“It’s not just about going to the companies and them running campaigns. It’s about every individual,” Greer-Link said.

Top fundraisers included the Industrial 2 division and the Public Employees division. The Industrial division raised almost 52 percent of its goal at about $33,626, as reported by John Struzick, a cabinet member. The Public Employees division raised almost 50 percent of its goal, totaling about $63,520, as reported by Lane Bailey and Jim Behmer, two more cabinet members.

Many individual businesses and organizations saw increases in their totals from the previous year. Plant 11 of Parkdale Mill saw a 38 percent increase with a total of about $5,080, and Dillards had a 36 percent increase with a total of about $17,042.

The United Way works to improve the education, income and health of local community members. The primary focuses of the Rowan chapter include education and personal empowerment, medical and dental care accessibility and job creation and retention, according to the Rowan United Way website.

Bailey, city manager of Salisbury, said the report meeting was his first one in Salisbury. He said he was looking forward to good results to help the United Way’s goals.

“It’s a great cause and it helps keep our community strong,” Bailey said.

Contact Reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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