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United Way holds awards ceremony

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Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014 12:23 am

United Way of Central Virginia held an award and celebration ceremony for its “Opening Doors … Changing Lives” campaign at the Kirkley Hotel Thursday morning to recognize volunteer work and outstanding donors.

Project coordinators, companies and individuals were recognized with 15 distinguished awards and other contributions to the nonprofit’s campaign to help education, income and health in Central Virginia.

Twenty-four round tables seated nearly 170 guests from companies like Genworth Financial, Bank of the James, Banker Steel and Centra. Genworth raised the most with more than $300,000; Areva, Centra and Babcock & Wilcox Company raised more than $200,000. Nationwide Insurance raised more than $100,000.

Lisa Meriwether, director of development for United Way, said 40 percent of donations were from gifts of $500 or more. Although the goal of $3.2 million was not reached — it’s just short of $3 million — the campaign has yet to end. Campaign goals were harder to meet this year, Meriwether said, because of a still-struggling economy and a reduction in employees in the region.

Donations for the 2014 “Opening Doors … Changing lives” campaign have already begun, Meriwether said.

The donations to United Way are sent to nonprofits and siphoned to specific programs, such as Meals on Wheels, a food delivery service to seniors and the homebound; and Ways to Work, which provides low-interest loans and financial education to working families with bad credit.

The Valerie Camm Organ Award, for an agency that most effectively promotes its partnership with United Way, was given to Lake Christian Ministries. BB&T was awarded the William E. Betts Jr. award for having its employees provide the highest percentage of employee donations, and Marcia Thom was awarded Volunteer of the Year.

But to Marie Martin, the closing speaker and executive director of United Way in Central Virginia, everyone was a winner.

To quote Winston Churchill, she said, “‘You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.’”

Other awards:

The Oscar H. Anderson award was given to the Nexsen Team for demonstrating the highest level of energy and commitment and in completing their role in reviewing programs for the allocation process.

The Ambassador Award was, out of one company, individual or organization, given to Daniel Abbott for providing exceptional support and leadership for the campaign.

The Groundbreaker Award was given to the Harrington Corporation and Pepsi Beverages Company, for a successful first-time workplace campaign.

The Young Philanthropist of the Year, for volunteers under 40 with remarkable energy, was given to both Darrell Wargo and Shannen Ranson.

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