United Way reaches nearly 28 percent of goal

Published 12:04 am Thursday, October 6, 2022

SALISBURY — At its first campaign update meeting, the Rowan County United Way reported being more than a quarter of the way to its annual goal.

The meeting at Ben Mynatt Nissan was the setting for the announcement that $381,741 has been pledged or donated, “a great start” to the $1.375 million goal, said United Way Executive Director Jenny Lee.

In addition, those in attendance learned that three donors are one step closer to winning $25,000 toward the purchase of a new car. Names drawn during the meeting were Herbert (Lee) Bouknight from the city of Salisbury, David Carman from Rufty-Holmes Senior Center and Susan Thomas from Rowan-Cabarrus YMCA. The auto dealerships involved in the campaign increased their support this year to $25,000. Three donors’ names will be drawn at each of the four report meetings for a final drawing at the campaign finale in November. That winner will get $25,000 toward a new car from Ben Mynatt Nissan, Cloninger Ford, Gerry Wood Auto Group or Team Auto Group. To enter the drawing, a donor needs to give or pledge $78 or more to the United Way. The more a person gives, the more chances that person gets to win. (Participants are required to have a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance and be at least 18.) Those who pledge earlier in the campaign also get more chances to win.

The meeting last Thursday was also a chance for people to talk about their reason for helping the United Way, which can include anything from helping a daughter overcome addiction to being there for people in crisis, meeting needs seen among school children, or providing a trusted way to help people across the community.

One by one, campaign leaders took the microphone to explain why they got involved in the United Way.

Then they shared the progress of their individual campaign divisions:
• President’s Division, led by Johnathan Williams, is at $26,801 or 11.8 percent of its $227,500 goal;
• Chairman’s Division, led by Greg Anderson, is at $7,227 or 4.6 percent of its $158,100 goal;
• Industrial 1, led by Denise Hallett, is at $19,268 or 26.4 percent of its $72,850 goal;
• Industrial 2, led by Audrey Eudy, is at $15,799 or 42.2 percent of its $37,400 goal;
• Nonprofits, led by Miriam Ramirez, is at $14,286 or 40.8 percent of its $35,000 goal;
• Commercial 1, led by Sheila Igo, is at $14,509 or 29.4 percent of its $49,405 goal;
• Commercial 2, led by Dale Peeler, is at $4,597 or 7.7 percent of its $59,650 goal;
• Commercial 3, led by Elia Gegorek, is at $5,733 or 11.8 percent of its $48,760 goal;
• Public Employees, led by Kaisha Brown and Rodney Harrison, is at $63,004 or 60.7 percent of its $103,790 goal;

• Education, led by Carol Anne Houpe, is at $3,376 or 2.3 percent of its $148,800 goal;
• Community Business, led by Cheryl Goins, is at $6,628 or 41.4 percent of its $16,000 goal;
• Professionals, led by Graham Corriher, is at $40,059 or 38.2 percent of its $105,000 goal;
• Special Gifts, led by Elizabeth Cook, is at $96,578 or 47.1 percent of its $205,000 goal;
• Miscellaneous, led by Micah Ennis, is at $63,872 or 59.3 percent of its $107,745 goal;
• Leadership Giving, led by David Post, is part of all the divisions and has a goal of $135,461. (So far, 61 people have pledged at the Leadership level.)

“We are off to a great start with strong leadership and energy to support our fundraising efforts,” Lee said after the meeting.

In recent years, the United Way campaigns had to work with companies from a distance when pandemic precautions were in place.

“This year, unlike the previous two, has reopened the opportunity to directly connect with our donors, especially those that work in our large companies,” Lee said. “It always makes such a difference in the level of giving when folks can see their hard-earned dollars at work.”

Denise Hallett presided over the report meeting, since Campaign Chair Micah Ennis was ill. The event started with a welcome from Todd Rakes, executive manager of Ben Mynatt Nissan in Salisbury. He said the dealership was honored to help United Way as part of the company’s commitment to the community.

Last year, the United Way campaign raised more than $1.3 million. It fell short of its $1.5 million goal but was still able to fund 19 programs aimed at addressing Rowan County’s areas of greatest need: substance use, mental health, healthy lifestyles and basic needs.

For more information about this year’s United Way campaign or to make a donation, call 704-633-1802 or go to www.rowanunitedway.org.