Each year, United Way of Bradley County conducts a campaign to provide needed funds to address the community’s greatest needs by having significant impact through effective programs for those who are most vulnerable.
This campaign includes the naming of at least two campaign chairs, who in turn, select local volunteers to head up divisions within their teams.
This year, the friendly competition between the two campaign co-chairs – Debbie Melton and Richie Hughes – has become even more competitive with their team members. Each set of division chairs are working toward bringing in more pledges in relation to campaign goal than the other.
“We have two teams of great division chairs this year, all competing to win the ‘Big Chief’ award for their team chairman,” noted United Way Board Chairman Cameron Fisher.
“They all realize that the true winners will be those who benefit from each team raising as much as possible in contributions, but are also having more fun this year in following the competitive nature of their team leaders.”
Case in point: A photograph taken at the most recent campaign report luncheon. The two teams, all donning their LIVE UNITED T-shirts, posed in a face-off, with Nancy Casson in the middle holding back each team.
“I know it was all fun, but these are some intense folks here,” Casson joked.
Casson chairs a division of the campaign – Special Treats — that does not fall under either of the two campaign teams.
“I know when Mickey (Torbett) and I co-chaired the campaign, we had such fun competing against each other,” Casson said. “This year, it appears that the teams are getting even more involved.”
Both Melton and Hughes are edging their teams into this competitive mode. Each are talking about having the best team, and whether ahead or behind in the competition, making sure that everyone knows who will come out on top.
“In all honesty, we both have two fine groups of people working with us,” Melton said. “It is a shame, though, that our team will be holding the ‘Big Chief’ at the end.”
“It ain’t over ‘til it’s over … the fat lady hasn’t sang yet … the cream rises to the top,” Hughes said, using clichés to show that while his team is presently behind in the competition, there is still lots of work to do in the campaign for both to reach the $2,013,000 goal.
At Wednesday’s report luncheon, United Way volunteers reported $1,116,107 in pledges, which is 55 percent of goal at the halfway point of the campaign.
“Our teams are going to get us to that goal, and if we win the competition, we will be very humble as we accept that honor,” Hughes said.
“We wish you all the best, Richie, and hope that your team does extremely well and reaches your goal, and that United Way reaches its goal this year,” Melton countered. “Just don’t feel too bad if our team wins this competition.”
Each team is comprised of volunteers who have served as division chairs in the past, and some new faces who are excited to be involved in this campaign, and in helping the community through their work with United Way.
Melton’s campaign team consists of the following members: Margaret Schenck, Pat Fuller, Tammy Bentley, Matt Jenne, Tanya Mazzolini, Dr. Jerome Hammond, and Dan and Janey Cooke.
Members of Hughes’ team include: Terry Henry, Taylor Howard, Mike Thomasson, Donna Simpson, Kim Spence, Andy Williams, Walt Mauldin, Paul Ramsey, Johnny Mull, and Don and Lila Lorton.
At the Wednesday report luncheon, Melton’s team was leading Hughes’ team 66 percent of goal to 47 percent of goal.
The next report luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 14.