These companies announced their totals at United Way’s first report luncheon of the 2010-11 campaign on Wednesday. Pledges were announced at $1,441,025, or 63.3 percent of the campaign goal of $2,275,000.
“At our kickoff luncheon three weeks ago, we heard early pledge totals from our Pacesetter and Challenger companies, and today, we hear more about their campaigns and how they have truly set the pace for our campaign,” said United Way Board Chairman Mickey Torbett.
Many of those Pacesetter and Challenger companies reported pledges well over last year’s campaign totals, among them Procter & Gamble/Duracell Brand, Cleveland Utilities, SkyRidge Medical Center, Lee University, Bradley County Schools, and Life Care Centers of America.
“It is great to see so many people in our community work so hard to help so many people,” said Mayor Tom Rowland, who co-chairs the United Way campaign with his wife, Sandra. “To hear them announce these contributions is very inspiring.”
“It makes you feel good to see so many work together to help fund our agencies, programs and services, and do it with such spirit,” added Mrs. Rowland. “I am so proud of these companies and their commitment to helping others.”
Companies serving as Challengers this year are Life Care Centers of America, Cleveland Utilities, SkyRidge Medical Center and First National Bank.
Pacesetter companies include Whirlpool Cleveland Cooking Products, Whirlpool Customer eXperience Center, Cormetech, Manufacturers Chemicals, Brenda Lawson & Associates, Athens Federal Community Bank, Bank of Cleveland, BB&T Bank, Easy Auto, First Tennessee Bank, Pioneer Credit, Regions Bank, Southeast Bank & Trust, Southern Heritage Bank, SunTrust Bank, United Community Bank, Peyton’s Southeastern, Procter & Gamble/Duracell Brand, Bradley County Schools, Cleveland City Schools and Lee University.
Sheila Ogle of Procter & Gamble/Duracell Brand told those at the luncheon that the company had a significant increase in pledges. She explained that this occurred even though the company has 14 percent fewer employees than last year.
“Our campaign was directed by our employees. We had several employees go on a tour of United Way agencies, and they returned and spoke to their peers about what they saw, how they were touched by the work being done by these agencies, and how important it is to support their work through their donations,” Ogle explained.
Procter & Gamble/Duracell Brand pledges for the 2010-11 campaign rose to $102,365, a 4.8 percent increase.
Chris Averill of SkyRidge Medical Center reported that during this year’s campaign, the hospital had a designated United Way campaign leader in each department, which made a big difference. He added that there were incentives including car washes provided by senior staff to those who gave $100 or more to United Way.
“We had 119 that did that, so there will be lots of cars washed soon,” he said. SkyRidge Medical Center’s pledge is just above $30,000, which is almost a 150 percent increase from last year’s pledges.
Jameson Bundy of Whirlpool Cleveland Division said the plant had more than 30 employee meetings, which has made a positive impact on the company’s campaign this year, while both Letha McCurry of Regions Bank and Tiffany Williams of Southern Heritage Bank told how special events have helped add to their company totals (Regions Bank has a special promotion to win a bicycle for a $1 donation to United Way, while Southern Heritage Bank will allow employees to wear jeans on Jeans Friday for a $2 per week donation.)
United Community Bank’s DeWayne Morrow said the bank has 100 percent participation in the campaign, while Johnny Mull reported that the Bradley County Schools raised 107 percent of its goal for the year and 9 percent more than last year.
“We had 94 percent employee participation, with pledges of $80,000,” noted Dr. Carolyn Dirksen of Lee University. She said that the school had an employee meeting which was attended by Mike Cook and his son Luke, who are featured in this year’s United Way campaign video.
“That helped us raise more in pledges over last year,” she said.
John Brown of Life Care Centers of America, while mentioning that there are still some pledge cards to be received as well as campaigns at Life Care Centers of Cleveland and Garden Plaza to be conducted, reported $554,000 in pledges by the Cleveland-based company. This is a record total for pledges from one company in the history of United Way of Bradley County.
Other Pacesetter companies to report increases from last year included Manufacturers Chemicals (10 percent over their company goal), Brenda Lawson & Associates (2.2 percent increase), and Easy Auto (2.35 percent increase).
First National Bank, serving as a Challenger company this year, reported a 104 percent increase in pledges.
The Rowlands are involved in the traditional friendly competition between the two sets of division chairs to see whose team raises the most in pledges in relation to their division goals. At the end of the first report luncheon, Sandra Rowland’s team held a 2 percentage point edge on her husband’s team, with Mrs. Rowland’s team reporting 52 percent of goal to Mayor Rowland’s 50 percent of goal.
Two of their divisions have already exceeded 100 percent of goal. Division 7 (Hospitals), chaired by Coleman Foss, is at 115 percent of goal, while Division 18 (Special Gifts), chaired by Ron Braam, is at 101 percent of goal.
Division chairs for each team reported their pledge totals at Wednesday’s luncheon. In Sandra Rowland’s group, those reports included: Division 1 (Large Firms), chaired by Margaret Schenck, $167,200, 60 percent of division goal; Division 2 (Large Firms), chaired by Kay Free, $40,245, 22 percent of goal; Division 3 (Commercial Firms), chaired by Jay Leggett Jr., no report; Division 4 (Commercial Firms), chaired by Debbie Melton, $31,777, 54 percent of goal; Division 5 (Banks & Finance), chaired by Brenda Lawson, $193,479, 82 percent of goal; Division 6 (Non-Profit Organizations), chaired by Kim Brooks, no report; Division 7 (Hospitals), chaired by Coleman Foss, $44,450, 115 percent of goal; Division 8 (Insurance), chaired by Andy and Tammy Williams, $1,276, 6 percent of goal; and Division 9 (Special Gifts), chaired by Cameron Fisher, $5,000, 17 percent of goal.
Reports for Tom Rowland’s team included: Division 10 (Large Firms), chaired by Rick Lawson, no report; Division 11 (Large Firms), chaired by Avery Johnson, $146,741, 70 percent of goal; Division 12 (Commercial Firms), chaired by Richie Hughes, $19,900, 58 percent of goal; Division 13 (Commercial Firms), chaired by DeWayne Morrow, $8,505, 25 percent of goal; Division 14 (Dentists and Professionals), dentists, chaired by Dr. Will Reynolds, $2,925, 36 percent of goal, and professionals, chaired by Dr. Seth Ford, no report, for a combined total of $2,925, 8 percent of goal; Division 15 (Government), co-chaired by Teresa Torbett and Donna Simpson, $48,292, 87 percent of goal; Division 16 (Education), co-chaired by Chuck Rockholt and Johnny Mull, $127,366, 91 percent of goal (including Bradley County Schools at 107 percent of its goal and Lee University at 103 percent of its goal); Division 17 (Attorneys), chaired by John Kimball, no report; and Division 18 (Special Gifts), chaired by Ron Braam, $47,900, 101 percent of goal.
Nancy Casson is chairing a division, called Uniquenicks, which includes Life Care Centers of America, along with special gifts to United Way including the Restaurant Tuesdays for United Way. Her division, which is not a part of either campaign team, has raised $555,969 in pledges to date, for 94 percent of her goal.
Casson announced the Ace Hardware Labor Day promotion raised 9 percent more in contributions than last year.
She also announced the next Restaurant Tuesday for United Way will be Sept. 21, at Southern Smokehouse Barbecue. Two Restaurant Tuesdays have been held this campaign, at Shane’s Rib Shack and Cici’s Pizza.
Wednesday’s luncheon was the first of four scheduled report luncheons for United Way, which will be held through Nov. 17. The next United Way report luncheon will be on Wednesday, Oct. 6, and will be held at the Mountainview Inn.