LUMBERTON — The Robeson County chapter of the United Way laid out the plans for its 2013 fundraising goal of $715,000 during a luncheon Wednesday at the Pinecrest Country Club.
“It won’t be easy to achieve,” said Ken Windley, president of the organization, “but it’s something we can do.”
According to Sandra Oliver, executive director of the United Way of Robeson County, the goal remains the same as it was for the past campaign, when about $700,000 was raised.
The luncheon was part of the kickoff to the 29th annual Pacesetters Campaign. Pacesetters agree to raise money in advance of the official campaign kickoff. The event attracted more than 50 representatives from 26 Pacesetters, as well as local agencies supported by the United Way.
Over a meal of pork, potatoes and salad, Oliver said she recently worked with Mike Miller, Campbell’s Soup senior director of Operations, to discuss that plant’s upcoming campaign. According to Oliver, the company hopes to raise $80,000 with an 80 percent participation rate.
Pacesetters seek to get each employee to pledge a “fair share” — the equivalent of one hour’s pay each month. Pictured on the front of the United Way of Robinson County’s brochure is the Lumberton Fire Department, where every employee is a fair-share giver. During the most recent campaign, Pacesetters contributed $420,000, with the biggest contributor, BB&T, raising a total of $108,000.
The money will go toward programs in the 17 organizations the United Way of Robeson County supports.
Windley said Pacesetters need to have their campaigns completed by Oct. 18.
Representatives from Lumberton Auto; Fair Bluff Ford; Lumberton Nissan; Lumberton Honda; and Peterson Toyota were on hand at the luncheon as part of the 2013 Car Giveaway. Those who contribute a “fair share” have their names entered into a contest to win an automobile, with the winner is determined in a series of drawings that begin Oct. 23 and end Dec. 27. The last person standing during a reverse raffle at Biggs Park Mall on Jan. 17 will drive off in the car.“There is such need in our county that we really need to be raising more money. We just have to work hard,” Oliver said. “We focus on education, health and financial stability. If you teach people those four things, they can pretty much survive on their own.”
The Pacesetter companies set to participate in the 2013 fundraiser are: Alamac American Knits; BB&T; Campbell’s Soup; City of Lumberton; GlenFlora; Graphic Packaging; International Paper; JCPenny; Kayser Roth Corp.; Lowes Food; Lumbee Guaranty Bank; Lumbee River EMC; New Century Bank South; Piedmont Natural Gas; Public Schools of Robeson County; Robeson Community College; Robeson County Employees; Smithfield Packing; Southeastern Regional Medical Center; Tredegay; United Postal Service; U.S. Cold Storage; Walmart of Pembroke; Walmart of Lumberton; and Wells Fargo Bank.
The nonprofits that are supported are: American Red Cross; Boys and Girls Clubs of Lumberton; Boy Scouts of America; Communities in Schools; Foster Children’s Christmas Fund; Girl Scouts; Lumberton Christian Care Center; Mayors’ Committee for the Challenged; Monarch, Southeastern Industrial Center; Rape Crisis Center of Robeson County; Robeson County 4-H; Robeson County Church and Community Center; Robeson County Partnership for Children; Robeson Family Counseling Center; Southeastern Family Violence Center; and Southeastern Hospice; Southeastern N.C. Radion Reading Service.