United Way of Bradley County will kick off its 2013-14 campaign at a special luncheon on Friday, Aug. 23.
The luncheon will be unique in that it will be held at one of the United Way’s campaign partner agencies — the Cleveland Family YMCA. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. with lunch, and the program will begin at noon.
“This will be a different type venue for the event, but is appropriate as the luncheon will be a part of our ‘Day of Action’ on Aug. 23 where many of our local industries have committed to performing volunteer work at many of our partner agencies,” said Matt Ryerson, United Way president and CEO.
As with previous kickoff luncheons, United Way will announce pledge totals from many companies that have been conducting early campaigns this month. Many of these Pacesetter companies have held meetings with employees throughout August as part of their internal campaigns. Others are set to hold their campaigns soon after the kickoff.
The Aug. 23 luncheon will feature two speakers who have been chosen to talk about giving back to the community.
“We have lined up two fantastic speakers, Joe Smith and Lesley Scearce, both of whom will inspire and motivate everyone at the luncheon,” Ryerson said.
Scearce, president and CEO at On Point, has become a leader in the positive youth development movement, both locally and nationally. Not only does On Point equip more than 12,000 local students with the skills they need to succeed each year, their programs have been replicated in 40 states and 13 foreign countries.
Smith, regional director for YCAP, has come a long way since 1986 when, he says, he actually had plans to end his own life. In 1998, he founded the YMCA Afterschool Program for at-risk kids. His work with children extends beyond his profession, as Smith and his wife have adopted 17 foster children. It is this tenacity and devotion that led Smith to be selected as the team manager for the 2008 Olympic boxing team.
Cost for the luncheon is $12, and reservations are required. Deadline for reservations is Wednesday, Aug. 21.
“Seating is limited for the event so we encourage those wishing to attend to contact the United Way office as soon as possible,” Ryerson said.
The United Way contact number is 423-479-2020, for more information or to reserve tickets for the kickoff.
More details on other “Day of Action” events will be announced as the kickoff luncheon nears.