WRAL News Anchor Gerald Owens entertained the crowd Master of Ceremonies at United Way’s Campaign Kick-Off luncheon on Wednesday, September 5. Held in the clubhouse ballroom at Governors Club, the event hosted over 150 people.
The event featured three guest speakers. Chatham Health Department Director Layton Long shared preliminary results of the 2018 Community Assessment. NC 2-1-1 Statewide Strategy Director Heather Black introduced Chatham County’s new information & referral resource and presented Chatham needs data from the last year.
Former Chatham County Commissioner Betty Wilson gave special presentation to kick-off the 2018 Campaign. Dressed as Wonder Woman, she described how we all have the power to make a difference in our community, especially when we work together. United Way’s campaign theme is United We Fight, United We Win! Wilson pumped up the crowd and had everyone chanting “Yes we can!” by the end of the event.
United Way member agencies were on hand with tabletop displays to meet with guests and answer questions. They also distributed marketing items and information regarding the programs supported by United Way campaign contributions. Musical entertainment was provided by Sue Wilson and Betsy Kraus on the hammered dulcimer and concertina respectively. Event sponsors included: Briar Chapel by Newland Communities, Duke Energy, Governors Club, Laurels of Chatham 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 any other residential community. Carolina Meadows saw the highest percentage of participation of all of the residential campaigns and have held this distinction for many years. The Fearrington campaign had the second highest percentage of participation. The campaign at Briar Chapel 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 thirteen years. Chatham County Employees received recognition for having 50% participation in their campaign. Nancy Burgess of Chatham County DSS was recognized for outstanding commitment and dedication to United Way of Chatham County with the “Extra Effort Award.” Chatham County Schools received the “Greatest Employee Spirit” Award. Duke Energy was recognized for having the largest business campaign, while Chatham Hospital had the largest campaign increase.
United Way is a proud advocate and benefactor to 18 outstanding human service agencies. They are: 4-H, Boys & Girls Club, Chatham Cares Pharmacy, Council on Aging, Literacy Council, Communities In Schools, Partnership for Children, Chatham Trades, CORA Food Pantry, El Futuro, Girl Scouts, Legal Aid, Reach Out and Read, Rebuilding Together of the Triangle, Salvation Army, Sprott Youth Center, The Learning Trail, and the West Chatham Food Pantry.