Many local companies and individuals were recognized for outstanding support recently at the United Way Tar River Region’s seventh annual Community Champions’ Luncheon at the Gateway Convention Center.
United Way Board Chairman Gary Fazio started the event by saying, “Today’s event is about celebrating those that champion the cause of improving our community, especially through United Way. In the words of Helen Keller, ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.’”
Local singing legend Milton Bulluck entertained the crowd by singing, “Do it for the Kids,” while Kirk Scott, executive director of the Christian Fellowship Home, provided a thought-provoking keynote address.
The focus of Scott’s address centered on his own personal experiences fighting substance abuse and how the “light at the end of the tunnel’ can lead people out of trying times to greater prosperity. For Scott, he overcame substance abuse to become the director of the Christian Fellowship Home, becoming an advocate and role model for many. He concluded his speech by addressing the audience and suggested that each person in the room is a “light at the end of the tunnel” and each person serves as a true champion for United Way and the community.
“We stay in this community and continue to serve this community because we have the heart for making it a better place to live and work,” Scott said.
The message of service and leadership continued throughout the event as United Way funded partners, volunteers, staff members and other supporters were recognized. Also, several businesses and individuals were honored for their tremendous contributions to United Way.
Both Nash Community College and the Nash County government received the Community Cheer recognition for their outstanding spirit and support of United Way, while Davenport Autopark received the Community Cheer Leadership award. New Standard Corporation and Opticare Managed Vision received Big Heart Awards for their care and passion to help United Way. The Rocky Mount Telegram was presented the Corporate Impact Award while Edgecombe County Public Schools received the Community Impact Award.
The last award of the day, the Community Champion Award, was presented to Bob Boyd, a retiree from Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant and long-standing United Way donor, volunteer and advocate. This award is given to an individual who has gone above and beyond in their service through the years to United Way and the community.
Incoming United Way Board Chairwoman Christy Taylor ended the event by saying, “We are truly grateful for everyone’s support in helping sustain vital programs through our United Way. Your support is the bridge from despair to hope for so many.”