The United Way Campaign Kick-Off luncheon was held in the clubhouse ballroom at Governors Club Wednesday, September 6. The event saw record-breaking attendance and hosted over 150 people.
United Way hosts the annual event to celebrate the prior year’s fundraising campaign and to kick off the upcoming year’s campaign. The event featured local news personality Debra Morgan as emcee. The keynote speaker was Chatham Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Touchstone. He delivered a state of the county address focused on economic development and growth. Touchstone was joined by guest speaker Vanessa Jenkins of Chatham Park, who presented an update on the progress of the development. Musical entertainment was provided by Sue Wilson on the hammered dulcimer and Betsy Kraus on the concertina.
There were 18 displays set up by United Way member agencies that portrayed the programs and services provided by the agencies and supported by United Way campaign contributions. Sponsors for the event included: AT&T, Briar Chapel by Newland Communities, Duke Energy, Governors Club, Laurels of Chatham, Nationwide Insurance and Realty World Carolina Properties.
Many residential communities, businesses and volunteers were recognized for their participation and efforts in the United Way annual campaign. The residents of Governors Club were honored for their record-breaking campaign, raising more than ever before and more than any other residential community in the campaign’s history. The Carolina Meadows Campaign saw the highest percentage of participation of all of the residential campaigns and have held this distinction for several years. The Fearrington campaign had the second highest percentage of participation. The campaign at Governors Village was recognized for having the greatest percentage of increase in their campaign results.
The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office received recognition for 100% participation last year, as they have for the last twelve years. Indira Everett of Duke Energy was recognized for outstanding commitment and dedication to United Way of Chatham County with the “Extra Effort Award.” Chatham Hospital and Chatham County Schools received the “Greatest Employee Spirit” Award. 3M was recognized for having the largest campaign, while Duke Energy and Nationwide Insurance had the largest campaign increase.
United Way is the advocate and the benefactor to 20 outstanding human service agencies. They are: 4-H, Boys & Girls Club, Chatham Cares Pharmacy, Chatham Housing Initiative, Council on Aging, Literacy Council, Communities In Schools, Partnership for Children, Chatham Soccer League, Chatham Trades, Chatham Transit, CORA Food Pantry, El Futuro, Girl Scouts, Legal Aid, Reach Out and Read, Rebuilding Together of the Triangle, Salvation Army, The Learning Trail, and the West Chatham Food Pantry.