|The fundraising goal for this year is $375,000|
Staff Photo by Charles Boothe:
Many of the United Way’s partner agencies were represented at the campaign kick-off celebration Thursday. In the photo above, Franklin Community Bank employees visit the Helping Hands display. From left are Pam Thompson (FCB administrative associate), Dr. Sam Campbell (Helping Hands director), FCB President Brenda Smith, Alise Culbertson (Free Clinic of Franklin County director) and Joanne Patterson (Stepping Stone Mission).
Monday, September 16, 2013
By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer
This year's United Way of Franklin County fundraising campaign got off to a rousing start Thursday evening.
A kick-off celebration was held at the farmers' market in Rocky Mount, complete with music, food and donations. The goal this year is $375,000.
Many of the agencies the United Way funds were also represented, explaining the services they perform to help those in need in the county.
Emcee Jaime Singleton, who is now with ABC TV13 in Lynchburg, thanked everyone for attending and noted the generosity and caring of county residents.
"When I took the job at Channel 13, they asked me about moving to Lynchburg," he said. "But I didn't want to do that."
Singleton said one of the things he loves about his home county is the community spirit and how people look out for each other.
Roy Enslow, owner of Bridgewater Marina at Westlake and president of the UW Board of Directors, encouraged those in attendance to visit the displays of the UW affiliate agencies and learn what they do.
Enslow also welcomed other board members who attended the event and thanked everyone for supporting United Way. He also emphasized that "100 percent" of donations to the UW stay in Franklin County.
Andre Peery, the UW campaign's marketing director, said several organizations were "pacesetters" already setting the bar for fundraising. Those include employees of AEP, Franklin County public schools, STEP Inc., Bridgewater Marina and Franklin Community Bank.
Brenda Smith, FCB president, and other bank employees presented a check to UW for more than $6,800.
Employees of AEP so far have contributed $5,884 with "more to come," Peery said.
Franklin County school employees have already given $3,043, and Rebecca Tyree, who is spearheading the campaign in the school system, said that is just a start.
Barb Magill, UW executive assistant, said the campaign has already met about 10 percent of its goal.
"I am thrilled about that," she said.
The top prize of a one-year membership to the Franklin County YMCA went to Teresa Brown.
Music for the event was provided by Geneva and Friends. Two by Two Barbecue was the vendor.
The United Way of Franklin County has 15 partner agencies in the county that depend on the UW funding each year, as well as affiliate agencies. Each agency must apply for funding every year, and a committee of county residents screens the applications and makes funding decisions.