United Way of Greater Chattanooga on Wednesday hosted almost 300 supporters at its Annual Meeting and Partnership Celebration. Key companies, volunteers and clients were also recognized for their efforts on behalf of United Way, which helped the organization achieve success in 2012, including raising $11,601,905 in the annual campaign.
Board Chairman Dr. Bill Stacy addressed United Way’s partnership focus and the community leadership that helped it succeed in 2012.
He told the audience, "This year, we look more than ever to the impact that United Way achieves through its partnerships, such as the 90 percent of children in United Way-funded child care centers who had the literacy skills needed to read and write in school, the increasing numbers of people living in stable housing, and the 36,000 who needs were answered through 211. The impact of the funds United Way receives through its funding partners is truly amazing and it is amazing to see the growing change it is making in our community."
After his overview of the progress in 2012, he then turned the floor over to Alison Lebovitz, United Way’s 2012 Campaign Chairman.
During her presentation, Ms. Lebovitz shared, "The measure of United Way is not in our annual fundraising campaign, but in the ways that we consistently impact our community. I have been a longtime United Way supporter, but after serving as campaign chair I now understand firsthand the power and importance of pulling our collective resources together to create sustainable, meaningful change," she said. "The United Way of Greater Chattanooga is the most effective tool we have for connecting individuals and organizations, improving lives and creating opportunities for the benefit of all. And I am proud to live in such a benevolent and generous community that believes in giving, acting and living united."
The following companies and volunteers were recognized by Ms. Lebovitz for excelling in their United Way campaign efforts:
- Best New Employee Campaign – Volkswagen
- Employee Campaign Manager of the Year – Rob Majors, FSG Bank
In addition to the company awards presented, Ross Schram, United Way's Allocation Committee Chair, recognized Tonya Rooks as the Impact Award Winner of the Year, for rallying her community and working hard as the president of the College Hill Courts resident council to improve the lives of families and children in her neighborhood. She worked with United Way to find services the residents needed and to bring them to her neighbors, meeting people where they live with what they need. Tonya championed these partnerships in her neighborhood with United Way funded organizations like YMCA, CADAS, and Girls Inc., who worked with Tonya to bring services to the Westside for the youth in her community.
John Rutter was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year for his decade of work with United Way and ACE Hardware's annual Day of Caring. John himself has put in more than 500 volunteer hours around various United Way projects, not to mention time he’s taken for consultation and preparation. It is a partnership that has paid dividends to the community, and John has been the engine to keep it going.
This year, the Tocqueville Society presents the Courage Award to Steve Morgan who overcame personal challenges to achieve greater independence with the help of a United Way-funded program.
Officials said, "Despite MS and dimming vision, he wanted to not only keep working, but to finish his degree and travel overseas to serve as a missionary. That’s why Steve embodies the definition of courage, a transformation that was possible thanks to an assistive technology program and his calling to go out into the world to serve others."