United Way of Richmond County supporters gathered at FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Wednesday for a special luncheon honoring the people and organizations that helped make the 2011/2012 United Way campaign a success.
The organization raised $225,000 in 2011, and served 9,950 individuals.
“We have already served 2,300 individuals so far this year,” said UWRC Executive Director Michelle Parrish.
“96.5 percent of the money raised here stays in Richmond County,” added Chairman Travis Billingsley.
The group of founders who started the local organization in 1965 were recognized: Bill Wallace; Charles Dean; Richard Condor; Guilford Gulley; John Tucker; A.F. Wood; June Cheek; J.M. Stubbs; Ralph Gandy; J.C. Watkins; E.V. Hogan; S.B. Easterling; J.E. Webb; G.L. Rush; and R.L. Hinson.
Condor and Watkins were honored guest speakers at the event.
“I recall back in those days there were lots of different groups that needed funds,” said Watkins. “It got to be a constant stream of folks needing something. A lot of it was done by knocking on doors.”
Watkins said that he and the other members of the original group formed what they called the “Rockingham Charities,” which later evolved into what is now the United Way of Richmond County. This was an attempt to organize the charitable donations, making life easier for the donors and the recipients.
“We raised $70,000 at our first successful drive,” he said. “Since then, other communities and agencies have joined together. Working as one is easier.”
“I commend you all for your unified efforts, and I’m humbled to be here today,” said Condor.
UWRC thanked the members of its new Allocation Committee for their service this past year.
“The Allocation Committee was made up of a group of volunteers who reviewed the funds which were not designated, and made recommendations as to how the funds should be used,” said Parrish. “This was the first year we’ve done this and it was a great success. We hope to continue to have support from the community to keep this oversight committee going.”
Members of the committee during the 2011 year were: John Maultsby; Dena Cook; Tammy Benson; Robin Hutchinson; Adrienne Harris; Sharon Dewitt; Wanda Cox; Maria Messer; Anna Lyles; Brian Baucom; Jim Brown; David McNeill; Joey Bennett; Doris Rodwell; Ann Pruitt; Debbie Williams; Marchell Adams-David; Lorie Tatum; Wayne Osborne; and Jean Fletcher.
Organizations honored for their campaign contributions were: BB&T; Belk; Claude F. Smith Foundation; FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital; Habitat for Humanity; ITG Burlington; JC Penney; Perdue; Piedmont Natural Gas; Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation; Progress Energy; Richmond Community College; Richmond County Schools; Sandhills Childrens Center; Sealed Air Corporation; Swink Quality Oil and Gas; Vulcan Materials; Walmart; Leak Street Alumni; and the Richmond County Daily Journal.
The Board of Directors for the Richmond County United Way includes: Travis Billingsley, chairman; Claudia Robinette, vice chair; Keith Parsons, treasurer; Lee Butler, secretary; Joel Fox; John Jackson; George Norris; Dale McInnis; Scott Brewer; Sabrina McDonald; Andy Hillenburg; John Hutchinson.
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.