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United Way of the CSRA Hosts 2015 Annual Meeting

A full house of 600 local business leaders and community volunteers attended United Way of the CSRA’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, February 24, at The Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center. Continuing with its Superhero theme from the Kickoff last August, United Way treated their guests to a “Superhero Masked Ball”.

Dr. Faye Hargrove, United Way’s 2014 Campaign Chair, announced that United Way had exceeded their campaign goal by raising $3,478,944. She also reported that the Combined Federal Campaign and the Federal workforce raised $624,281. She acknowledged the remarkable accomplishment stating that, “We’ve seen great successes and a few challenges, but overall this has been a tremendous year”. Dr. Hargrove thanked the many volunteers and supporters who worked together to accomplish this outstanding goal.

The event was hosted by WJBF News Channel 6 personalities Jennie Montgomery and Brad Means. The Jazz Ensemble from Lucy Laney Comprehensive High School was on hand to entertain the crown with several tunes. Ashley Smith Robinson, guest speaker for the event, shared how her life was miraculously changed when she came face-to-face with court room killer Brian Nichols in 2005 when he held her hostage for seven hours. Ashley is author of the New York Time bestseller Unlikely Angel, which inspired the movie Captive, coming to theaters soon.

In other event news, United Way chose the Annual Meeting to present several key awards. The 2014 Alvin W. Vogtle Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Mary S. Byrd. Randy Johnson, Vice President of Operational Readiness for Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, presented the award along with a check for $2,000 to be donated to a charity of choice. Ms. Byrd, who was nominated by Friendship Community Center, is a dynamic individual who has a God-given talent for helping others.

The 2014 Spirit of Community Award, which is given to the company who is committed to running a model United Way Campaign, was presented to Columbia County Government. With more than a 75% increase in employee contributions and special events, it was a record-setting campaign.

The Award of Excellence was presented to Savannah River Nuclear Solutions for their outstanding support of 11 United Way’s throughout the CSRA. Through all the changes they have experienced, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions continues to keep community in the forefront.

Pillar Circle awards were presented to eleven companies who each raised over $100,000 for the 2014 Campaign: Club Car, DSM Chemicals North America, Elanco, International Paper, Kelloggs, Publix Super Markets, Savannah River Remediation, Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Fort Gordon, U.S. Department of Energy, and Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center.

In keeping with the Superhero theme, special awards were presented to three Employee Campaign Managers who who truly went above and beyond to make their company campaigns fun, energetic, and educational for their employees. Recipients of the Superhero award were: Amy Whitfield, First Bank of Georgia; Jo Robinson, Bob Richards Auto Group; and Jaime Brown, Elanco.

The event was presented through the generosity of several local corporate sponsors: Premiere Sponsor: Savannah River Nuclear Solutions; Presenting Sponsors: American Family Insurance and Southern Nuclear Operating Company-Plant Vogtle; Presidential Sponsors: Georgia Power, MAU Workforce Solutions, and University Health Care System; and Executive Sponsors: Amerigroup Community Care, Atlanta Gas Light, Blanchard & Calhoun Real Estate Company, and Savannah River Remediation.

See Photos from the Event >