United Way campaign has raised 43 percent of goal

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 8, 2015

The lesson of the day at United Way’s report meeting: When everyone contributes, great things can happen.

The Rowan County United Way held its second report meeting at Gerry Wood Honda on Wednesday.

Children from Partners in Learning opened up the event by singing three songs, including “This Land is Your Land.”

Justin Dionne, managing artistic director at Lee Street Theatre, read the children the story “Stone Soup,” a folk story about a group of monks bringing a community together by encouraging them to share food.

The total goal for the 2015-16 year is $1,999,999.99, and right now the campaigns have raised about 43 percent of that goal, totaling about $854,507.

Board of Directors President Steve Fisher said although he would have liked to see the fundraising closer to 50 percent, the campaigns are still going strong.

“When I look at the number of campaigns that are in, most of them are up. And that’s always a fantastic sign,” he said. “The campaigns that are still out, we have great hope for.”

Top fundraisers included the Commercial 1, Commercial 2 and Public Employees divisions. Commercial 2 raised the greatest total percentage of its goal, with a total of $97,115 raised. That was almost 94 percent of its goal, $103,700.

Both Commercial 1 and Public Employees reached about 79 percent of their goal. Commercial 1 raised about $32,613, and Public Employees raised about $101,405.

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.

Names were drawn for the chance to win a free car. Susan Barnhardt of Innospec Performance Chemicals, William Honeycutt of AkzoNobel and Greg Alcorn of Global Contact Services will advance to the next stage of the drawing.

Barnhardt said her husband was entered into the drawing for a free car during one of the first years it was done.

“It was so exciting to think we might win a car,” she said. “We did it again.”

Brad Wood, general manager and owner of Gerry Wood Honda, said his company raised over $44,800, with a goal of $34,500.

“We’ve got to give back to our community because … Salisbury’s done so much for me and my family that I couldn’t possibly repay in dollars anyways,” he said.

The next report meeting is on Oct. 21 at Team Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.