United Way Kicks-off their 2013-2014 Fundraising Efforts

CHRISTIANSBURG - Over 100 local business representatives and volunteers came out to support United Way of Montgomery, Radford and Floyd in their Annual Campaign Kick-off on September 18th at Outback Steakhouse in Christiansburg.

The Outback Steakhouse donated all accommodations and services for the event. Those driving past the lunch were sure to hear the roar of the crowd as they yelled “LIVE UNITED.” “Live United” is the slogan of United Way, a slogan that urges individuals to unite to help their neighbors. United Way Executive Director, Kymn Davidson-Hamley, emceed the event and stressed gratitude to the community for their continued support of local giving and encouraged the crowd to get excited about helping others!

There were several speakers; Sheila Roop, the Executive Director of Intellectual Disabilities Agency of the New River Valley talked with guests about the struggles many people in our community face that have an intellectual disability and how her agency combats those struggles. Roop commented “To quote Bo Shafer - chairman of the United Way of Knoxville board in 1982. I give to United Way because a long time ago I realized that helping others is not a duty, it is a privilege. I did nothing to deserve to be born healthy and have the ability to earn a living, see, or be able to walk. It is all a gift. I truly did not deserve any of this. But, then again, neither did the people that were born without these gifts. It is by the grace of God that I am on the giving end instead of the receiving. But, life can change in a matter of seconds. So, I continue to give with a happy heart.”

Roop then introduced special guests Cody Sawyers and Cynthia Harris. Cody is currently an Intellectual Disabilities client who has participated in the program for 4 years. Cody commented, “I would just like to say thank you to all of you and my Aunt Cindy. You’ve changed my life. At the beginning my life wasn’t good but now it is!”

The third and final speaker at the event, long-time United Way supporter and IMG sports radio personality Bill Roth spoke about being a “united team.” Roth was accompanied by Virginia Tech football players Cody Journell and Trey Gresh and cheerleaders Taylor Poe and Courtney Tala to promote team spirit. Roth commented, “I love the energy in this room. There is nothing better than knowing you are in a room full of caring people coming together as a team to change lives in the New River Valley! I know all too well the power of a team and this is going to be a great year with a great team!”

Last year United Way of Montgomery, Radford and Floyd's monetary resources raised in the community were slightly less than the prior year’s with a total of $655,000, a trend most charities in the New River Valley have seen over the last seven years. This year their goal is to raise more funds for local charities than last year. Executive Director, Kymn Davidson-Hamley commented “We are fortunate to live in a community where we have so many supportive individuals and companies that continue to do all they can to help their neighbors. As we continue to see an increase in need, we hope to see an increase in donations to provide for all the need. However, we know that our community is strong and caring. We’ve overcome extreme hardships before and we will again. We aim high for our 2013-2014 campaign and fully anticipate exceeding last year’s donations.”

United Way of Montgomery, Radford and Floyd's mission is to unite local people and resources in order to improve lives in the New River Valley. They find needs and meet them with the collective generosity of local people and local companies.

Company campaigns and special fundraisers have begun in the New River Valley. If you would like more information on how to get involved or to hear Cody’s story please visit United Way of Montgomery, Radford and Floyd's website at info@unitedwaynrv.org.

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