By Wendy Holdren
The United Way of Southern West Virginia has officially reached its $500,000 fundraising goal, and Frank Wood, publisher of Beckley Newspapers (including The Fayette Tribune and The Montgomery Herald) and The Register-Herald, has been named the 2013-2014 campaign chairman.
“Today is truly a historic day for United Way of Southern West Virginia,” said Richard Jarrell, 2012-2013 campaign chair.
After working for months with multiple partners and agencies on numerous events, the United Way reached its “BHAG.”
“BHAG stands for big, hairy, audacious goal,” Jarrell explained. “We increased giving in the community by $60,000.”
The 2011-2012 goal was set for $440,000 and Jarrell said that goal was met and exceeded in record time, so he wanted to raise the bar for his fundraising year.
“Some said it couldn’t be done in this economy, that it was too big, but it’s not about the goal, it’s about the need.”
Jarrell thanked Margaret O’Neal, executive director, for her unbelievable leadership.
“We worked, danced, swung golf clubs, and even wrecked motorcycles in the armory,” Jarrell laughed.
“We have get tos and we have got tos. This has been a get to for me. I love this community and it’s made me who I am.”
He and O’Neal became a bit teary-eyed as they reflected over the past year’s work.
“Richard has kept me focused and working. He always kept us confident,” O’Neal said.
His faith held strong throughout the year, and Crossroads Chevrolet was the contributor that put the United Way over the top for its $500,000 goal.
Rodney LeRose II, owner of Crossroads Chevrolet, presented the United Way with a $10,000 check Wednesday at the Raleigh County Public Library.
LeRose said he was happy to be able to donate to such a great organization.
Lee Ann Myles, customer service manager for Crossroads Chevrolet, said she wants to help the community and looks forward to working with the United Way in the future.
Wood said he is looking forward to the challenge of becoming the United Way campaign chair and he expects the fundraising goal will be quite substantial.
“This is an aggressive organization in collecting money, but also an aggressive organization in helping the community,” Wood said.
As the small ceremony came to a close, Jarrell took off his “Live United” rubber bracelet and gave it to Wood. Jarrell said he wore the bracelet from the time he set his fundraising goal and did not take it off until that goal was met.
The United Way of Southern West Virginia serves 32 nonprofit organizations in the region.
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