Change wars help United Way come closer to 2014 campaign goal

Published 12:01 am Saturday, May 16, 2015


When the Elizabethton/Carter County United Way wrapped up its annual campaign at the end of March, the agency had reached 87 percent of its goal.

That, in and of itself, was a victory, said Cheri Tinney, Executive Director. The $139,000 raised was a higher percentage collected than last year.

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However, she said, never underestimate the power of kids.

Thanks to a “penny war” held in Carter County schools, the percentage went up in May. Carter County Director of Schools Kevin Ward issued a challenge to the county school principals three months ago, Tinney said. Ward challenged every school to raise $1 for each child enrolled.

“We got a late boost,” Tinney said. “And we’re so grateful to the school system and to those children, who not only helped, but learned how important it is to give back to their community.

The children raised $1,500, pushing the United Way’s final tally to $146,025.35, or 92 percent of its goal.

“There is never too young an age to educate our future generations about the importance of caring for our community and neighbors,” Tinney said.

The United Way will be getting started on its next year of fundraising, starting on May 18 at noon, holding an Agency Partner Review in the Pine Room at the Franklin Health and Fitness Center located 1509 W. Elk Ave.

“This is where each agency makes their 5 -7 minute pitch, explaining how they will use their money will be used in the community,” Tinney said. “It is the step we take before the allocation committee meets.”

Attendees at the meeting will hear from 10 agencies this year; the newest organization to join the group is Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

The public is invited to attend and lunch will be served, Tinney said.

She also announced the first fundraiser of the new campaign year for United Way, the Stars & Stripes 4-Mile Run and Walk, a night run set for July 3 in Elizabethton.