United Way honors supporters
BY AMELIA HARPER
Thursday, April 25, 2019
The United Way Tar River Region celebrated with community partners and contributors on Wednesday during the 12th annual Community Champions’ Luncheon at the Dunn Center at N.C. Wesleyan College.
Dr. Haywood Parker, president and chairman of the United Way Tar River Board of Directors, announced at the event that the 2018 fundraising campaign surpassed its $1.2 million goal.
“Today’s event is about celebrating those that champion the cause of strengthening and growing our community, especially through United Way. It takes all of us working together — nonprofit partners, area businesses, community leaders and volunteers — to build a stronger community for our local citizens throughout Nash and Edgecombe Counties,” Parker said.
Ginny Mohrbutter, executive director of the United Way Tar River Region, thanked the sponsors, employee campaign coordinators and corporate contributors who helped make the 2018 campaign a success.
“As you know, our organization could not provide for our local community if it were not for the support of so many dedicated volunteers, staff and generous donors who support our United Way efforts across Nash and Edgecombe counties. Many of our campaign donations come from our employee campaigns and corporate contributors.” Mohrbutter said. “Our United Way is a success as a result of our dedicated volunteers. There are many volunteers who spend countless hours using their time, talent and expertise to support our organization.”
Mohrbutter also shared why the efforts of the United Way are needed in the Twin Counties.
“Did you know that 61 percent of children in Nash and Edgecombe are not reading on grade level by the end of third grade? Did you know that 65 percent of North Carolinians are considered obese or overweight and that one-third of children in Nash and Edgecombe counties are living in poverty, with 23.5 percent in Nash and 28 percent in Edgecombe living in food insecure homes?” Morhbutter asked.
She also outlined some of the ways community partners who are partially funded by the United Way are making a difference in the community.
“We know people can lead more successful lives and achieve their dreams when they have the right resources, support and tools for success. Because of the support of our donors and volunteers, I am happy to announce that through our United Way programs last year alone, 40,905 youth and families received educational support that lead to more successful lives, 51,255 people were touched by health programs that helped them improve both their physical and mental well-being and 184,500 units of support were provided to combat poverty and promote self-sufficiency in our community,” Mohrbutter said.
Mike Smith, director of the United Way board and the vice president of resource development, presented the 2018 campaign awards.
Diamond Awards for companies who had 100 percent participation and donated an average of $176 or more per employee to the campaign were awarded to Boddie-Noell Enterprises, Dunbar Community Development Club, Express Employment Professionals, First Carolina Bank, Meals On Wheels of Rocky Mount, the United Way Tar River Region and RSM, which had the highest per capita giving.
Platinum Awards for companies donating an average of $176 or more per employee were presented to Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant, Davenport Autopark, Envolve Vision, Providence Bank, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Carolinas Gateway Partnership and the corporate division of Universal Leaf North America.
More than 20 other companies received awards at the gold, silver, bronze and honorable mention levels.
Several other special awards were also given. Neill Nelson of Davenport Autopark donated a year’s lease on a 2019 Honda Accord to Johnny Williams of Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant, who won this year’s grand prize car giveaway.
This year’s Big Heart Award was given to the Great American Cookie Company and to Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, which had 100 percent participation among employees at the Central Office.
Community Cheer Team Awards went to Providence Bank and to Edgecombe County Public Schools.
“This recipient has endured a few challenges since the aftermath of several hurricanes, But they still managed to continue their fundraising efforts in support of those in need. Hosting creative special events, like pajama days or the selfie contest, around the entire county as well as recognizing its employees at their school board meeting. They truly exemplify what it means to ‘Live United’, Morbutter said.
Several other awards were also presented including the Community Cheer Leadership Award to Universal Leaf North America, the Corporate Impact Award to Boddie-Noell Enterprises and PNC Bank, the Community Impact Award to Nash County government, the Largest Campaign Increase Award to Acme United Corp., the Community Partner Award to theBoy Scouts East Carolina Council, the Campaign Coordinator of the Year Award to the city of Rocky Mount United Way Team, the Volunteer of the Year to Rick McMahon and Zee Lamb and the Community Champion Award to Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant.