When great success is achieved in sports or other fields, there is an expectation for it to continue — which describes a challenge facing the 2016-2017 campaign of the United Fund of Surry.
Last year the campaign met its goal for the first time in four years, which also has set the bar high for this year’s fundraising effort that has the same goal — $450,000.
The campaign now under way has gotten off to a good start with $81,000 generated so far for the United Fund of Surry, which is celebrating a special milestone due to this being its 60th year of existence.
“Around 20 percent of the goal is where we’re at,” said Todd Tucker, who is chairing the 2016-2017 campaign. “It’s definitely under way.” Tucker is the president of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership.
The campaign got off to a running start, literally, with the Downtown Rocks and Runs 5k race that was one of the best such events in years from a financial standpoint. A golf tournament to further raise funds also was held in the past month.
“We’ve got a couple of good events under our belt now,” Tucker added Thursday. He said other funds have been generated through an ongoing “dine for the cause” promotion being held in partnership with local restaurants such as North State Winery.
A motorcycle poker run is also planned later this fall to generate money.
Key funding also comes from local industries, businesses and individuals.
“We’re just making that push,” the campaign chairman said of efforts by United Fund committee members to achieve the goal. “And we’re very fortunate in this area to have the corporate citizens that we do.”
The United Fund of Support aids 26 agencies in the area, including the local Salvation Army and American Red Cross, Yokefellow Ministry, Meals on Wheels and area rescue squads, among others.
Tucker admits that there is some pressure to meet the 2016-2017 goal, given the success of last year’s campaign.
“Catrina Alexander did a great job with her team last year raising funds,” he said of the Mount Airy parks and recreation director who chaired the 2015-2016 effort.
“This is the 60th year, so we definitely want to meet our goal.”
In addition to encouraging people to make donations, which can be done by visiting the United Fund of Surry website, Tucker said one key task is educating people about the 26 agencies it benefits and the need to assist them. Those entities supply invaluable community services.
“One of the words I want to get out is it’s not just a Mount Airy thing,” the chairman added, mentioning the Armfield Center in Pilot Mountain and the Children’s Center in Dobson and the need for those communities to support the United Fund.
“We want to get those people pledged to it and to give charitably.”
The same goes for Virginia residents, since the agencies benefiting there include Webb-Southern Carroll Community Center and two rescue squads in Ararat.
“There’s a lot of agencies in need,” Tucker said, but many caring people are around who can meet that need.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.