Half way home

2008 United Way campaign reaches $1.1 million at mid-point

The Blount County 2008 United Way campaign is a little more than half way to its goal of $2,225,000, and now volunteers are working hard to raise that remaining $1.1 million.

Co-chairs Denny and Cindy Mayes made the announcement on the amount of money raised so far. “We are pleased to announce we are at $1,136,000,” said Denny. “That’s 50.4 percent of goal. We’re half-way there, and we’ve got to keep the momentum going.”

The overall goal is $2,250,000 and Denny Mayes said the biggest challenge now is getting the remaining $1.1 million. “Ninety-eight percent of those who don’t give, don’t give because they’ve never been asked.”

Members of different committees and divisions gave reports showing their progress thus far during a luncheon at the Smithview Pavilion on Tuckaleechee Pike in Maryville.

Daily Times Executive Editor Larry Aldridge with the New Business Committee said, “The objective is not just to get money but to cultivate relationships,” he said. “Our goal is $4,500 and, as of today, we have $2,275 -- 68 percent of our goal.”

Major Firms Chair is Greg Wilson and the companies in his division play a major role in the campaign. “I’m proud to report Major Firms is at $675,800, or 70.5 percent of goal,” he said.

Virginia Hardwick with the Industry Committee said, “There’s no denying it’s been a tough campaign, but we’ve also seen there’s a culture of giving.”

Hardwick said the committee is at $53,867. “We’re at 22 percent of our goal, but we’re going to make it,” she said.

Andy White with the Commerce Committee said the committee is focused on working with small and mid-sized companies. Gifts of note came from AT&T for $3,000; Mountain National Bank with $4,445 in employee commitments; $5,746 from West Chevrolet and $43,233 from Twin City dealerships. “Commerce Division has raised $109,585 or 34.6 percent of goal,” he announced.

David Connor said General Business Division is a combination of large businesses and local small businesses. “Mr. Chairman, as of today we’ve raised $77,105 or 48.9 percent of goal,” he said.

Dr. Bill Seymour with the Public Service Division said the City of Alcoa raised $607 with a pancake breakfast and Dave Bennett’s birthday party raised $307 and $11,000 was raised at the Public Service Hamburger Luncheon. “As of today, the Public Service Division has raised $76,887 for 31 percent of goal,” he said.

In the Professionals Division, Joy Bishop said engineers, lawyers, accountants, dentists and other professionals are courted to support United Way’s campaign. “Our work is on a one-on-one basis. We’re at 36 percent of goal with $50,000,” she said.

Tish Hickman and Kevin Clayton lead up the Leadership Giving effort, which includes individuals giving $1,000 or more. “We had $198,782, which is 33 percent of our goal, and we have 138 members and nine new members,” Hickman said.

Residential and Special Giving Division is made up of clubs and individuals not part of a larger organization or campaign. “This has been one of the committees that has been fun to work,” Jane Qualls McGuire said. “Our goal was $163,550 and, as of today, we have $65,314 or 39.9 percent of goal,” she said.

Events such as the annual golf tournament raised $26,000 and the Public Service Hamburger Luncheon raised $11,000.

Lea Ann Law and Joe Zappa chaired the committee that organized the United Way Back Roads Bike Ride. “A lot of people helped us out, and Dixie Iron Riders said this was the smoothest ride ever,” Law said.

“We had 70 riders and raised $1,500 for United Way,” she said.

Boyce Smith and Sharon Moore were chairing the Gas Day event that occurred the day after the reporting lunch. Downey, McNutt and Calloway Oil companies donated a portion of proceeds from Oct. 3 fuel sales to United Way.

Blount Today publisher Sherri Gardner Howell said What Matters on Your Platter is an initiative started in 2007 by Aubrey’s Restaurant owner Randy Burleson. “The idea is to give the person who is eating out in Blount restaurants a chance to learn about United Way and give, she said.

What Matters on Your Platter is scheduled for late October/early November.

Cindy Mayes and United Way executive director Michelle Hankes praised the Loaned Executives for their part in the campaign to date. Loaned Executives are volunteers from area businesses and agencies whose employers allow them to speak to companies as part the campaign.

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