United Way sets fundraising goal of $1.2 million at annual kickoff

Published 12:05 am Thursday, September 14, 2023

SALISBURY — As the theme of this year’s United Way fundraising campaign is “Driving For The Green: Chip in fore our neighbors in need,” the annual kickoff event was held at Salisbury Country Club, where the organization announced their funding goals and what groups that money would be directed to.

The event consisted of introducing all of the members of the campaign cabinet and having members of different charities and organizations from around the community speak about their hopes for this year and what donations would be used for. After the speeches, Campaign Chair Stephen Bullock announced this year’s goal will be $1.2 million overall.

“Thank you in advance for the hours and efforts that you’re going to put in. It makes a huge difference here, and as you all know, there are so many needs in Rowan County right now,” said Bullock before introducing the members of the cabinet.

One of those members of the cabinet is Miriam Ramirez, who in addition to being the representative of the non-profit division is also the executive director of Capstone Recovery Center. Ramirez set the non-profit goal at $32,000, and she also gave some insight into how the campaign’s donations will help out Capstone, which offers a treatment center for women who suffer from substance abuse issues. Ramirez said during her speech that because of United Way’s help, Capstone was able to offer their services completely free to anyone who needed them.

Other organizations that United Way presented as beneficiaries included Family Crisis Council, Rowan County Literacy Council, The Salvation Army and the Salisbury Police Department, among over a dozen different others. The money donated helps with programs dedicated to addressing mental health, substance use, healthy lifestyle behaviors and basic needs.

“Let me thank United Way and all the United Way agencies for the critically important work that you’re doing in our community. I’ve been here a little over a year, and I am just so impressed and so appreciative of the partnership, the leadership and the hard work by all of the United Way agency,” said Salisbury City Manager Jim Greene, who spoke on behalf of the city’s police department.

To reach the $1.2 million goal, United Way broke down the effort into different divisions that each focus on different aspects of the community. As Ramirez represented non-profits, other cabinet members represented groups such as attorneys, education, industrial and public employees.

United Way President Eric Slipp also announced that everyone who donates will be entered into a drawing with a chance to win a car. Four car dealerships in Salisbury pledged to donate the cars to make the giveaway possible. According to Slipp, those four were Ben Mynatt Nissan, Cloninger Ford and Toyota, Randy Marion Honda, and Kia Team Automotive Group

At the end of the meeting, Rowan United Way Executive Director Jenny Lee notified everyone that in addition to being responsible for leading the campaign, Bullock also had another responsibility. At every meeting, including the kickoff, there will be a challenge where Bullock must attempt a putt in order to raise money. For every putt he makes, Lee said that Cheerwine would donate $500 to the campaign.

For more information on United Way or the campaign, go to https://rowanunitedway.org. For information on how to participate in the campaign, contact Philanthropy Director Audrey Eudy at aeudy@rcunitedway.org or 704-633-1802.