Over 500 local business leaders and community volunteers gathered at The Augusta Marriott Hotel at the Convention Center on Tuesday, February 27, 2018, for United Way of the CSRA’s 2018 Annual Meeting. Tom Blanchard of Blanchard and Calhoun and United Way’s 2017 Campaign Chair, announced that United Way and the community had raised $3,324,713 for the 2017 Campaign. He acknowledged the remarkable accomplishment stating that, “We’ve seen great successes and some challenges, but overall this was a good campaign. We were pleased to see an increase from last year’s campaign”. He 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. Lynn Smith, President and CEO of Easter Seals East Georgia Anne (a United Way partner agency) was guest speaker for the event. She shared about the importance of United Way funding for the partner agencies and how they are changing the lives of local residents for the better every day through the generous donations of the community.
In other event news, United Way chose the Annual Meeting to present several key awards. The 2017 Alvin W. Vogtle Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Jeffery Partridge. Daniel Komm, Plant Manager of Vogtle 1 & 2, presented the award along with a check for $2,000 to be donated to a charity of choice. Mr. Partridge, who was nominated by Jefferson County Community SHIPS for Youth, Inc., is well known throughout the community for his passion and drive to make a difference in the community.
The 2017 Spirit of Community Award, which is given to the company who is committed to running a model United Way Campaign, was presented to the City of Augusta / Richmond County. With the manpower of a committee comprised of individuals from every department, this organization worked tirelessly to think outside of the box, motivate their fellow colleagues, and most importantly show the impact that we can all have when we come together and uplift others in our community. Through all of their work this organization not only surpassed their initial goal but they also had their largest campaign to date.
The Pinnacle Award was presents to the company who raised over $400,000: Savannah River Nuclear Solutions. SRNS continues to keep community forefront and is committed to supporting local needs. Their spirit of philanthropy is a year round effort.
The Award of Distinction was presented to the companies who raised over $200,000 or more: Club Car, Publix Super Markets, and Southern Nuclear Operating Company – Plant Vogtle.
The Award of Outstanding Achievement was presented to two companies who each raised over $100,000 for the 2016 Campaign: Graphic Packaging International and Kellogg’s.
Special awards were presented to four Employee Campaign Managers whose enthusiasm, leadership, and passion resulted in thriving campaigns. The recipients of this award were: Jennifer Miller with Graphic Packaging International; Melissa Nelson and Melvis McCullough with Samsons Manufacturing Corporation, and John Murray with SunTrust Bank.
The event was presented through the generosity of several local corporate sponsors: Premiere Sponsors: Augusta University / AU Health and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions; Presenting Sponsors: Doctors Hospital and Southern Nuclear Operating Company – Plant Vogtle; and Presidential Sponsor: Georgia Power.