The United Way of Florence County, with only days left, managed to secure $1.2 million worth of pledges for the 2011 Stronger Together Campaign. This feat was celebrated at their Annual Luncheon & Awards Celebration held on Tuesday, April 3 at the SiMT building on the campus of Florence-Darlington Tech.
“Yesterday evening, we were still $4,000 short of our goal, so the whole staff started calling anyone we knew who had not made a pledge yet. Many people, including members of our own board, rallied and we were able to hit the mark by close of business,” says Wendy Bird, Vice President of Campaigns for United Way of Florence County. Wendy, who has been with the United Way for 16 years, told the audience that it was their constant support that makes her want to stay at the United Way, calling the audience members inspiring and a delight to work with.
Lisa Peterson of Honda of SC, Mfg. and Campaign Chair, was so excited by the outcome of the campaign that she inspired some of the audience members to break out into dance. The flash mob, made up of community volunteers and members of the Florence-Darlington Tech Stingers men’s baseball team thrilled the audience to the appropriate words of the Spencer Davis Group, “I’m so glad we made it.”
Campaign Excellence Awards were given out to companies participating in the campaign, highlighting achievement in dollars raised, spirit and campaign organization.
The Top Giver Award went to PGBA, LLC
The Rising Star Award went to Johnson Controls Florence Battery Recycling Center.
The Campaign Advancement Award was presented to QVC.
The Campaign Leadership Award was presented to PGBA, LLC.
The Campaign All-Around Award went to ACS Technologies.
The Spirit Award was presented to Concrete Supply Co. The company painted one of its cement trucks with a United Way ad.
The Campaign Volunteer Service Award was presented to Rachel McKnight, ACS Technologies.
The Partner Agency Award went to the Florence County Disabilities & Special Needs Board.
The LIVE UNITED Award was presented to GE Healthcare
The Ashpy P. Lowrimore Award, awarded for the past 11 years to a Florence County resident who models Ashpy Lowrimore’s example of humanity, generosity and leadership, was presented to Arthur E. Justice Jr. of Turner, Padget, Graham & Laney PA.
Justice, a shareholder of Turner Padget’s Florence office, has served the United Way of Florence County’s for the past 12 years and held various offices including Chairman of the Board, Campaign Chair, Treasurer, Community Investment Committee Chair, and Executive Committee member.
“I accept this award with great humility and gratitude,” said Justice. “No one understood community issues are personal issues more than Mr. Lowrimore. The United Way is among the best opportunities I have found to impact our needs in Florence County.”
Justice has also served as chairman of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, as well as Florence County Progress. He concentrates his legal practice in employment law, professional liability and business litigation matters.
Lovith Anderson Jr., who served as board chairman for two years, was recognized for his service.
The United Way of Florence County has been a cornerstone of the social service sector in Florence County for nearly 60 years. The United Way Annual Campaign supports the on-going efforts of 19 partner agencies whose programs benefit residents of Florence County as well as the initiatives of the United Way which include the Volunteer Corps, STUFF the Bus, Day of Caring, Project H. O. P. E. and 2-1-1.
“What I was surprised to learn was how many of these agencies rely very heavily on the United Way for operational expenses,” explains Lisa Peterson. “In a very real way, some programs and whole agencies would not exist without the efforts of the United Way.”
Peterson passed her duties to the new campaign chairman, Andy Patel, at the close of the meeting.