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United Way fundraising comes up short at finale

The United Way fundraising campaign is going into overtime.

The Rowan County United Way held its finale meeting at the Hurley YMCA on Friday.

The total goal for the 2015-16 year was $1,999,999.99. The United Way raised about 84 percent of that goal, with about $1,677,356.

Penny Greer-Link, general campaign chairperson, said everyone worked hard to try to meet the goal.

“There’s been a lot of work done over the past year, in particular over the last few months,” Greer-Link said. “The executive committee set a goal which we thought was attainable.”

But Greer-Link said the United Way is not done yet.

“Some would say we didn’t win today. I’m going to say otherwise,” she said.

The Public Employees Division raised the most percentage of their goal with a total of about $164,837, about 129 percent of their original goal of $128,000.99. Another top fundraiser, in terms of percentage of goal raised, was the Industrial 1 Division, which raised about $62,494. Its raised about 117 percent of their original goal of $53,600.

Although the Presidents Division met the least percentage of their goal, only about 54 percent, it did have the heftiest goal — $760,000. The division raised $408,567, the highest total of all the divisions.

“We still have a lot of work to do and we’re going into overtime,” Greer-Link said. “The agencies and the citizens of Rowan County are counting on us to get that second wind.”

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.

President of the Board of Directors Steve Fisher said he and the board did not anticipate coming short of the goal, but they will keep moving forward.

“It’s time for us to step up and keep marching on,” he said. “We can fill this gap.”

The winner of the car drawing was also announced. Greer-Link drew names from a box and the last name to be drawn was the winner. Rhonda Miller, a second grade teacher from Morgan Elementary School, won a car from Ben Mynatt Nissan.

“I am really so beside myself,” Miller said. “I’m glad that I had this opportunity to win and to support a good cause.”

The United Way kept with their patriotic theme with the Kiwanis Club of Salisbury serving hamburgers, hotdogs, potato chips and pie. The tables were decked out in red, white and blue tablecloths and decorations.

Greer-Link took the time to thank all of the cabinet members and previous hosts of the report meetings — Cloninger Ford, Ben Mynatt Nissan, Gerry Wood Honda and Team Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac.

“These people have been phenomenal,” Greer-Link said about the cabinet members while tearing up. “I could not have chosen a better group of individuals.”

Fisher assured the crowd that the United Way has not given up on their goal.

“We’re in overtime, folks,” he said. “It’s time to dig deep because our agencies need us.”

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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