United Way of the Central Savannah River Area entertained almost 600 guests on August 25, 2014 at the 2014 Campaign Kickoff. Hosted at Bell Auditorium, the Kickoff was presented through the generosity of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, American Family Insurance, Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Bienvenidos Press, Georgia Power, and University Health Care System. Jennie Montgomery and Brad Means of WJBF News Channel 6 presided over the event.
This year’s themed event was revealed as “Unleash Your Super Hero” with guests being encouraged to join United Way’s GIVING LEAGUE” and answer the call to help raise $4.25 Million for the needs of the local community. Several costumed Superheroes (United Way’s Board members and President) were on hand to add to the excitement of the event: Bat Man – Scott Johnson, Bat Girl – Alice Frye, Superman – Tony Robinson, Wonder Woman – Faye Hargrove, and Catwoman – LaVerne Gold.
Ten companies were recognized for running Pacesetter Campaigns this year, campaigns which were launched prior to the Kickoff: Georgia Regents Health System, Georgia Regents University – Augusta, Palmetto GBA, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, Savannah River Remediation, Target, United Way of the CSRA Board of Directors, UPS, and Walmart.
Zack Daffin, United Way’s 2014 Board Chair, presented United Way Worldwide’s “Outstanding Strategic Partner” awards to six local companies. This past May, United Way Worldwide recognized these companies nationally for creating sustainable, positive changes in local communities worldwide in the areas of education, income and health. Companies receiving the award included: AT&T, Bank of America, Procter & Gamble, Publix Super Markets, UPS, and Wells Fargo. United Way thanked them for their exceptional philanthropic commitment and community involvement locally.
Each year, United Way is fortunate to have assistance from a number of local companies who loan key employees that will work with United Way for the next 12 weeks helping to run campaigns throughout the community. This year’s Loaned Professionals include Richard Hillman with Savannah River Nuclear Solutions; Bonita Jefferies Jenkins with Augusta Technical College; Larry Laughlin, Retired; and Rita Stubblefield with U.S. Department of Energy. Georgia Bank & Trust Company and Georgia Power graciously agreed to provide a sponsorship for the LP program.
Dr. Faye Hargrove, United Way’s 2014 Campaign Chair, addressed the audience dressed as Wonder Woman. She challenged everyone to, “Unleash your Superhero. Grab your cape and join the United Way Giving League. We are looking for local heroes who will help us achieve our goal. Give, Advocate, Volunteer, and above all else, be generous. Generosity is your greatest weapon against illiteracy, poverty, crisis, and so much more. Help us to make an impact in the lives of CSRA residents by giving your best!”