For the second year in a row, the United Fund of Surry met its annual fundraising goal.
In 2016 the organization met its goal for the first time since 2011, and in 2017 the United Fund once again has more than $450,000 to distribute to local charities.
“Having met the goal last year and with it being the 60th anniversary of the United Fund, there was some pressure,” explained Todd Tucker, who chaired the 2016-17 fundraising campaign. “We met and surpassed our goal.”
Tucker said it was a team effort. United Fund board members helped him reach out to the community to raise money, and many local entities stepped up to the plate with large donations. Many of those entities, which included local government workers, schools and businesses, raised more money in 2016-17 than they had the year prior.
In a subsequent interview, he commended the community which made meeting the goal possible.
“I am so amazed at the giving spirits of the companies which support the United Fund and their employees,” said Tucker. “We have some great corporate citizens and some great people who work for them in our community.”
Tucker added he finds it impressive that the United Fund is able to raise $450,000 in the greater Mount Airy area.
The United Fund recognized many of those key donors at a luncheon held at First Baptist Church in Mount Airy on Wednesday.
Rogers Realty and Auction, Carter Bank & Trust, BB&T and Surry Bank and Trust received a Truly Local Heroes Award. One hundred percent of the employees at each company donated to the campaign, and each organization also raised more money than in the year prior.
Tucker also gave an award to Altec Inc., which took part in the campaign for the first time. Employees at the company raised more than $16,000 for the cause. Another award went to Workforce Unlimited for having a long established United Fund campaign.
A new award was also handed out, and the award went to its namesake.
Tucker said Dave Green started working at Renfro Corp. in 2002, and he immediately took the reins of the company’s United Fund campaign. Under Green’s leadership, employees have contributed more than $700,000 to the United Fund. He has also been the United Fund fundraising campaign chair and has served as president of the organization’s board of directors.
Green, however, called his receiving the Dave Green Achievement Award a “gigantic mistake.”
“This should go to all of the people at Renfro who have donated,” added Green.
However, Tucker had an answer for Green. Renfro received the Pat Woltz Way to Glow Award.
Tucker said the workers at Renfro raised a little less than $47,000 toward the $450,000 goal. Renfro is irreplaceable in the Mount Airy community.
“This company does great work in the community, and they are a great asset to the community,” said Tucker.
The United Fund also celebrated new leadership and thanked old leadership at the outing. The torch was recently passed in two noteworthy positions.
Kristy Preston, who serves as the director of Surry County Social Services, has assumed the role of president of the United Fund board of directors. She replaces Ron Sutphin, who was recognized for his service.
Merry Craig Boaz recently took the helm as the organization’s executive director, replacing Christina Plitt, who had served in the position since 2015.
“I was new to Mount Airy, and nothing made it feel like home more than the United Fund,” said Plitt as she thanked those in attendance for the opportunity.
Plitt was recognized with a print, signed by board members, representatives from member agencies and others in attendance at the luncheon.
Boaz said she appreciates the opportunity to take over Plitt’s responsibilities.
“I had the privilege to grow up in Mount Airy, and now I have the privilege to serve the community in this position,” said Boaz, who now resides in Pilot Mountain.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.