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United Way celebrates 7th year with over $1M campaign

Posted on January 16, 2019

By Michael Shine
Staff Writer

The United Way of Union County celebrated a seventh consecutive year of reaching its $1 million fundraising mark Tuesday.

The 2018-19 campaign reached $1,128,936, which is an increase of about half a percent from last year, Executive Director Alexis Alexander announced at the annual meeting Tuesday. This year’s campaign theme was “United We Fight, United We Win.”

“The people of Union County are extremely generous and always willing to lend a hand,” Alexander said. “We can’t thank them enough for their support again that led to another million-dollar year.

“Union County is very fortunate to have such generous support of both businesses and individuals who will share their time, talents and resources to improve our community. Their contributions to this campaign will impact many lives in Union County for years to come and help the United Way to partner with agencies that can bring about lasting change for the better.

Over the year, United Way hosted its annual Power of the Purse event that goes toward Union County’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library. The library benefits over 1,300 children from birth to age 5 in the area by providing them with an age-appropriate book monthly. The program is provided at no cost to the family.

The Power of the Purse event included a fashion show from local merchants and a silent auction for designer purses and other items. In 2018, the event raised about $5,000, which isn’t part of the United Way campaign. Alexander said plans are already in the making for this year’s event to be in early May.

As part of the campaign, United Way agency representatives paired with loaned executives and visited about 200 small businesses to solicit donations. There was about 14 teams this year. Alexander said that this year the event brought in over $10,000 to the campaign in one day.

Alexander also brought up the Celebration of Caring, held on Oct. 11, which takes place during the campaign each year. The event partners volunteers from local businesses with nonprofit organizations to perform service projects around the community. This year, eight local businesses created teams to send to the different organizations.

“The bottom line is that … all the agencies that make up United Way, we wouldn’t have a campaign without your help,” Alexander said.

New board members were elected to serve a minimum of one three-year term and officers were elected. New board members beginning in 2019 are: Kevin Hazen, LANXESS; La Quita Rainey, Elder House; and Vicki Templeton, Century 21 United.

New officers for 2019 are: President Seth Bennett, Nexans AmerCable; Vice President Bethany Gaddy, Regions Bank; and Treasurer Evelyn Morris, First Financial Bank.

Michael Shine may be reached at 870-862-6611 or mshine@ . Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook @MichaelAZShine for updates on Union County school news.