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United Way campaign at 30 percent of $1.5 million goal

By Amanda Raymond
amanda.raymond@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Companies shared their campaign strategies at the Rowan County United Way’s first report meeting on Wednesday.

The United Way announced a goal of $1.5 million for this year’s campaign, with a theme of “It’s the Right Thing.”

Penny Greer-Link, campaign chair, reminded the crowd that they needed to exceed the goal in order to provide for the different agencies.

“… Just meeting goal is basically not going to do it,” she said. “We need to get over this goal.”

So far, the campaign has raised more than $465,000, which is about 31 percent of the goal.

The Agencies Division has raised the highest percentage of its goal. The division raised $23,450 of it’s $30,000 target, which is about 78 percent of the goal.

The public employees division has raised almost 46 percent of its goal, with more than $55,100 raised towards its $120,000 target.

The commercial 3 division has raised about 43 percent of its $74,636 goal with more than $32,280.

Jennifer Traylor and Joan Correll talked about running the campaign at AkzoNobel.

They started with pledges in September and ended up raising 28 percent over the initial goal with almost $28,800. The amount was 17 percent more than last year’s efforts. Plus, the company will match the employees’ contributions, bringing the total to almost $57,600.

The company will keep the campaign going with raffles and bake sales. Employees will also get a chance to throw a pie at managers’ faces by paying $1.

“In the month of October we do fun stuff at AkzoNobel,” she said.

Josh Marshall and Patti Poole from Dillard’s said the company started doing more of the “fun stuff” this year.

Last year, the company raised $17,000 by just passing out the forms and giving a corporate gift. This year, the company had a bake sale and hot dog cookouts. Managers could also pay to wear jeans.

Dillard’s raised $24,000 from forms and the corporate gifts, and about $865 was raised through the additional activities.

Marshall said their 50-cent lollipop sale was a big hit.

“We extended it for two days because they didn’t want me to take it away,” he said.

Other companies talked about offering prizes and incentives to encourage their employees to give.

John Struzick, manufacturing financial manager at Innospec, said the company will be raffling off two Carolina Panthers tickets.

“If you’re going to raise a lot of money, you have to do a lot of stuff. It just doesn’t come easy,” Struzick said.

Patty Messick from Trinity Living Center talked about the United Way’s impact on the facility. She told the story of a man who needed to stay at the facility because of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. His wife wanted to stay by his side and the facility was able to make accommodations to allow her to do so. After the husband had a stroke, Trinity Living Center was able to let the wife stay at the facility for support.

The husband ended up passing away, but the facility was still able to offer support to the woman until her family could make arrangements.

Though the family said they would not have been able to get through everything without the facility’s help, Messick gave credit to the United Way.

“We could have never done that without the United Way,” she said.

Greer-Link gave the crowd two challenges before they left the meeting. The first was to keep sharing the campaign’s video, launched at the kickoff event earlier this month.

According to figures from Miller Davis Studios, the video received 1,900 likes on Facebook, 813 shares, 310 comments and more than 27,700 views, with 21,000 unique views. The video reached 55,000 people on Facebook and more than 6,000 on YouTube.

The video features notable community members lip dubbing to the songs “Do Something” by Matthew West and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey.

The second challenge was to raise a minimum of 60 percent of the goal by the next report meeting.

The first three names in the new car drawing were also chosen at the meeting. They were Ken Mowery from Novant Rowan Medical Center, Kendall Brown from Lutheran Services Carolinas and Stephen Chirico from the city of Salisbury.

The next report meeting will be begin at noon on Oct. 12 at the Gerry Wood Auto Group at 525 Jake Alexander Blvd. S.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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