"General" Decosimo Leads Halftime Charge To Take United Way Over The Top

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Approximately 150 people joined United Way of Greater Chattanooga in the Silver Ballroom at the Read House Wednesday to learn how the United Way campaign stands at the halftime and how they can help take the campaign "Over the Top" to its ultimate goal. Tom Decosimo, 2013 Campaign for the Common Good Chairman, announced a midway campaign total of $7.2 million.

"A few weeks ago I rappelled down the side of the SunTrust Building, and today I'm standing before you wearing a civil war general's uniform," said Mr. Decosimo. "I'll do anything to make this campaign a success, because our community's well-being depends on it. I've made more than 100 visits, including meetings with CEOs of this area's largest employers, to get this campaign off to a solid start. We've got great results coming in, and we couldn't do it without the efforts of organizations like TVA and the Combined Federal Campaign, city and county government, and companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Roper, Shaw, and Unum. We're doing great, but we've got to do better and win this battle, because the stakes for our community are so high. As the tip of the spear for Education and Stability, United Way isn't raising money, it's investing in creating impact to build a stronger and healthier community for everyone."

Mr. Decosimo noted that while several large campaigns are running at various companies and organizations across the region, these campaigns will not finish until November and December. A large campaign thermometer was unveiled, and Mr. Decosimo noted that the base amount on it, $2.8 million, consisted of endowment income, income from misc. items and events like the Frank McDonald Memorial Golf Tournament, earned income, sponsorships, grants, and foundation gifts. 

After Mr. Decosimo’s introduction, 23 campaign reports -- on behalf of 21 Campaign Units -- were presented to the audience from the following: Labor, Healthcare, Financial, Retail, Foundations, Individual and Leadership Giving, Tocqueville, Attorneys, Physicians, Dentists, Accountants, Real Estate and Construction, Technology, Media, Marion County, North Georgia, Nonprofits, Education, Public Sector (City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, and Combined Federal Campaign), Manufacturing and Insurance. These campaign units represent the different business and regional sectors within the community.

During his unit report, Dan Traynor of TVA, 2013 chair for the Combined Federal Campaign, presented United Way with a check for $50,000.

Mike St. Charles, reporting for the Attorneys unit, included in his report that Miller & Martin had increased their United Way giving by 31 percent over last year.

Mr. Decosimo then showed that Wednesday’s total reported total rose to $7.2 million on the campaign thermometer, which is 60 percent of the $12 million stretch goal. As the meeting wrapped up, he then called for key campaign volunteers, including all unit chairs, to commit to raise $250,000 in new money before the end of the campaign. This amount could make the difference in the campaign and lift United Way over its goal.

“This is a great half-way point, but I know the final $5 million will be a hard march to the finish,” said Mr. Decosimo. “But with everyone marching together, I know we can make it.”

YMCA Mobile Fit: Food And Fun Meal Program Feeds Kids, Fuels Potential Throughout Southeast Tennessee And Northwest Georgia

The YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga is offering the Summer Food and Fun Program with support from the Walmart Foundation to "help kids stay healthy, succeed in school, and reach their full potential."   "Combining educational and physical activity, the program keeps kids’ minds and bodies active, while also serving a healthy breakfast and lunch to kids who may otherwise ... (click for more)

East Ridge Observes Memorial Day With Annual Ceremony

The Annual East Ridge Memorial Day Ceremony will be held on Monday beginning at 1 p.m., at Pioneer Frontier Park, located beside East Ridge City Hall. The annual tradition honors those that have served in any branch of the military who died while on active duty. The American Legion Post 95, located in East Ridge, spearheads this event along with City personnel and the Crestwood ... (click for more)

Pool Chemical Leak Forces Evacuation Of Sports Barn North

Chattanooga firefighters responded to a reported haz-mat incident at the Sports Barn North on Hamil Road at  6:37  a.m. on Friday. Battalion Chief Carlos Hampton said an employee was working with some pool chemicals when some of the liquid leaked out of a container. The employee said he breathed in some of the vapors from the liquid and became ill. When the manager ... (click for more)

East Ridge Council Studying Restrictions On ATVs; City Forms Housing Re-Development Authority

The East Ridge City Council is studying an ordinance drafted by City Attorney Mark Litchford to address issues involving property in a residential neighborhood around John Ross Road, where an ATV track has been built. At the past two council meetings, people living in close proximity to the two-acre lot complained to the council that noise and dust created by almost non-stop use ... (click for more)

Scrutinizing Defense And Other Public Spending Is Right Thing To Do

I saw in the news today where U.S. senators were investigating and scrutinizing an Army "debacle," which has already spent $6 billion on a communications system developed by a defense contractor (WIN-T) that is virtually ineffective in use.   This is on top of a recent Navy scandal (Fat Leonard Scandal) where several current and former Navy admirals were sentenced to prison ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Suicide Letter

Two weeks ago there were five suicides and a fatal drug overdose in the same Chattanooga community. That absolutely tears me up inside because I am assured almost every day there is a better answer. I make no secret I struggle with depression and it is real. I want others to see if I can get through the valleys to climb the mountain, they can too. I take medicine every day that ... (click for more)