Stroup named United Fund campaign chair

The United Fund of Surry County has a campaign chair for its 2019-20 fundraising effort.

Angela Stroup is an occupational therapist who works for Choice Physical Therapy & Wellness in Mount Airy. She has accepted the position of campaign chair. She said she is excited to assist in the challenge of raising $450,000 for the campaign year.

“I am humbled to have been asked to serve United Fund in this capacity,” Stroup said. “United Fund is such an important contributor to our community. All dollars are kept local, and I am excited to be a part of providing for my community in this way. These funds help our community assets do what they do best — we’re all neighbors, and this is neighbors helping neighbors.”

In her post, Stroup will help oversee the agency’s effort to raise $450,000 to be distributed to 26 local human services agencies in Surry County.

The goal is a little lower than last year’s goal of $475,000, which proved to be more of a challenge than organizers had anticipated. The year before United Fund actually exceeded the $475,000 goal, pulling in $490,000 for its work in the community.

Stroup resides in Mount Airy and is the mother of three sons: Eli, Zeb, and Walker. She has lived and practiced in Mount Airy for 20 years. During this time she has enjoyed being an active participant and volunteer with various community entities including the Mount Airy Junior Women’s Club, 5k on the Greenway, Mount Airy City Parks and Recreation Commission, Reeves Community Center, First Baptist Church, Mount Airy City Schools, Surry Medical Ministries and the GRANITE Mentorship Program.

United Fund of Surry serves the needs of people in Surry County by financially supporting community assistance agencies. All dollars are appropriated locally within the county.

The agencies in turn serve adults and children in need. Services include: crisis and emergency care; food provision, utility and medical assistance; shelter/housing, counseling services, senior services, and enrichment opportunities for disabled citizens.

A few of United Fund of Surry’s 26 member agencies are the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Yokefellow Ministries, Surry Medical Ministries and five area rescue squads.

For more information on the United Fund of Surry County, visit www.unitedfundofsurry.org.

Raise the money and run

By Cory Smith - csmith@mtairynews.com

More than 250 runners aged anywhere from six to 76 flooded the streets of downtown Mount Airy to help United Fund of Surry kick-off its fundraising season.

In addition to the hundreds of runners, the sidewalks were filled with countless supporters and spectators, volunteers from 26 member agencies, law enforcement officials and EMTs. Each was there in support of United Fund of Surry’s 12th Annual Downtown Rocks and Runs 5K, 10K and Kid’s Fun Run.

In about a three-hour span, United Fund raised more than $15,000 from a combination of runner registration and 50 corporate sponsors.

The races began early Saturday morning. The 10K (6.21 mile) race started first at 7:45 a.m. Donning their green bibs, 59 racers from all over North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia took off for the gruesome course ahead as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” echoed throughout the city.

The path was lined with volunteers and ran through city streets as well as greenways. The rescue squads were among those that were stationed all along the course, making sure places like “French Fry Hill” were safe. This hill is the block of Independence Boulevard from Riverside Drive to Renfro Street and is at the end of the course. Competitors pushed through the hill to reach the McDonald’s sign that gives the incline its name.

Just 34:65.50 after the start gun went off, 26-year-old Ediberto Crisanto of Rock Hill, South Carolina, crossed the finish line. He averaged a pace of 5:36 per mile. Crisanto not only took home the $250 prize for winning, but he also broke his personal record from last year. Crisanto won the Downtown 10K run in 2018 with a time of 36:01.

Benjamin Kassel, 37, came flying in 35 seconds later for a time of 35:21.80. Kassell ran at a 5:42/mile pace. Rounding out the men’s podium was 47-year-old Nathan Beamguard. Beamguard ran at a 6.28/mile pace and finished with a time of 40:11.40.

Maleah Pinyan and Daniela Decristo weren’t far behind Beamguard. Pinyan, 21, finished at 40:22.40 with a 6.30/mile pace for the fastest female time. Decristo, 25, finished with an overall time of 40.50.33 at a 6:35/mile pace. Female third place runner Alicia Rider, 38, wasn’t far behind with a 42:36.10 time at a 6:52/mile pace.

The purple-bibbed 5K runners began their race at 8:00 a.m. Not wasting any time, nine racers finished with a pace under 6:00/mile. At a pace of 5:21/mile, Michael Stevenson, 25, crossed the finish line with a time of 16:36.70.

Right on Stevenson’s tail was 31-year-old Michael Koballa. Koballa ran at a 5:23/mile pace and finished eight seconds behind Stevenson at 16:44.10. Esayas Nida, 25, took third place with an overall time of 17.30.10 at a 5:38/mile pace.

Elle Ellender, 36, was the first female to finish the 5K. Ellender ran at a 5:45/mile pace and finished at 17:50.10. Natalie Lawrence, 37, became the fist runner to finish the race that wasn’t part of either team Heat Stroke or team Billy Goat Elite. Lawrence was the second female overall to finish with a time of 18:56.90 at 6:06/mile pace.

Rounding out the female’s podium was 20-year-old Sydney Haynes. Haynes finished with a time of 20:28.00.

Awards were presented to the top three finishers of each age group in addition to the overall winners. Age groups started as low as 13 and under and went all the way up to 70 and over.

Awards were also given to different organizations that competed as a team. Team Altec was awarded the Corporate Participation Challenge trophy by having the most team participants in the 5K with 15. The members of Team Altec: Sutton Decrane, Eli Chandler, Mike Reed, Norman Simon, Kenny Badgett, Fortino Ruiz, Tyler Nelson, Jeremy Rathjen, Rachel Decrane, Ashley McKnight, Megan Simon, Dale Mcknight, Annalise Griffin, Kendra Griffin and Ben Griffen.

Team Heat Stroke won the 5K Team Fitness Award for the fastest average team score of 17:27. Members of team Heat Stroke: Michael Stevenson, Michael Koballa, Esayas Nida, Elle Ellender, Gebre Nida, Danny McCormick and Jay Jahnes.

Children 12 and under were eligible for a Fun Run. Each participant received a participation ribbon and a bag of goodies.

Detailed stats can be found at https://www.gosportstiming.com/2019-results.html


United Fund 5K/10K set for Aug. 3

By Cory Smith - csmith@mtairynews.com

United Fund of Surry is kicking off its fundraising campaign in style with the 12th-Annual Downtown Rocks and Runs event on Aug. 3.

For more than 60 years, United Fund has used fundraisers, donations, corporate gifts, grants and events such as the upcoming races to provide service to people in this area. The money raised stays in the county and is distributed to 26 member agencies such as the local Salvation Army, American Red Cross and five area rescue squads.

The three upcoming Downtown Rocks races will take place throughout the downtown, with options for a 5K, 10K or Kid’s Fun Run.

Merry Craig Boaz, United Fund executive director, said this year’s campaign goal is $450,000. With the event being the kickoff, Boaz said this is a great way to bring together member agencies (they work the volunteer spots along the course), corporate sponsors and the community.

The cost of registration is $30 for the 5K and $40 for the 10K, with the Fun Run free for kids 12 and under. Children can add a T-shirt for $10. According to the Downtown Rocks and Runs website (downtownrocksandruns.itsyourrace.com) the first 200 registered runners will receive “an awesome event T-shirt and the best goodie bag around!”

The website also describes in detail the method of keeping track of times: “The 5K and 10K races will have a ‘gun start’ and chip timed finish. This means that all participants will have the same start time, and the finish time will be recorded as each runner crosses the finish line by reading the chip on the back of your numbered bib.

“The 5K race has a wide start line which enables all runners to get across the start line in a matter of seconds after the starting gun sounds. Timing services will be provided by Go! Sports Timing and Events. The Fun Run will have a clock at the finish line, but individual times are not recorded for this event.”

The top runners in the 5K and 10K events are eligible for individual or team awards:

Overall Top Male and Female in the 5K and 10K win $250.

5K and 10K Individual Awards: Overall first, second and third place Male/Female and Top 3 Male/Female Age Divisions: 13 and under, 14-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+; based on gun time. The overall top male and female racers in the 5K and 10K will win $250, sponsored by Advanced Electronic Services.

Corporate Participation Challenge: Show your company’s pride and commitment to health and fitness. The organization with the highest number of Downtown Rocks and Runs 5K run/walk participants will receive a Corporate Participation Challenge trophy. Please create or choose your company team when registering to be included in the participation challenge. Teams from Surry Insurance, Alliance Insurance, Altec, Surrey Bank & Trust and Mountain Valley Hospice have already registered.

5K Team Fitness Challenge Award: Run with your team (minimum of five runners – max of 10). Awards will be given for fastest team finish based on the average time of the top five team members. The members of our team fitness challenge will win a $25 gift card to Traxx and a free month’s membership to Reeves Community Center. Team members also qualify for individual awards. Choose the 5K Team Fitness Challenge registration option when registering.

Fun Run (Kids 12 and under): Fun Runners will receive will receive a medal and a race bag donated by Rainbow Child Center.

Walkers and strollers are also welcome in the 5K.

Early packet pickup will take place from noon – 6:00 p.m. at Reeves Community Center. Race day registration and packet pickup will be held 6:30-7:30 a.m. in front of the Mount Airy Municipal Building at 300 S. Main St.

The 10K is set to begin at 7:45 a.m., with the 5K beginning at 8 a.m. near the U.S. Post Office parking lot on Cherry Street. The Kids Fun Run will start in front of the Municipal Building at 8:45 a.m.

Race awards will be presented at 9 a.m. in front of the Municipal Building.

Updates on the races will be posted on the event’s Facebook page @DowntownRocksandRuns.

Strikeouts for Charity

By Cory Smith - csmith@mtairynews.com

PILOT MOUNTAIN —Each pitch thrown by East Surry’s baseball team this season had a little more meaning.

The Cardinals’ baseball team partnered with Alliance Insurance this season to raise money for the United Fund of Surry. Alliance pledged to donate $5 for every strikeout that Cardinal pitchers earned this season.

East Surry’s experienced pitching staff proved to be quite the charitable bunch this season. The Cards finished the 2019 season with 287 strikeouts in 26 games for an average of 11.04 K’s per game.

Alliance Insurance Founder Christopher Cook followed through on his promise by presenting a check for $1,435 to Merry Craig Boaz of the United Fund of Surry. Six Cardinal players joined Cook in presenting the check: Dillon Mosley, Eli Bullington, AJ Wilson, Colby Guy, Jefferson Boaz, and Seth Keener.

The United Fund of Surry has served the community for 60 years by providing services through a number of member agencies. From the UFOS website: “The United Fund’s mission is to unite our community around the shared goal of supporting these agencies and the important work that they do.”

The UFOS agencies are as follows: American Red Cross, Ararat Rescue Squad, Armfield Civic Center: Camp Pilot Mountain, Blue House Teaching Studio, Blue Ridge Volunteer Rescue Squad, Boy Scouts: Old Hickory Council, Children’s Center of Northwest North Carolina, Dobson Rescue Squad, Girl Scouts: Peaks to Piedmont Council, Meals on Wheels, Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care, Mount Airy Rescue Squad, Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad, Reeves Community Center Foundation, Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), The Salvation Army, The Shepherd’s House, Surry Arts Council: Special Needs Program, Surry Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Surry Friends of Youth, Surry Homeless and Affordable Housing Coalition, The Parenting PATH (Positive Actions Thriving Homes), Surry Medical Ministries, Surry Senior Centers, Webb Southern Caroll Community Club, and Yokefellow Cooperative Ministry.

Clock ticks down on United Fund goal

By Bill Colvard - bcolvard@MtAiryNews.com

The United Fund of Surry has reached 94.1 percent of its fundraising goal, and campaign officials are doubling down on efforts to meet the goal in the final 10 days of the campaign.

“We are reaching out in different ways via social media and following up on anyone who has shown interest in giving,” said Will Sheppard, 2018-19 campaign chair. “If anyone wants to do a quick campaign at their office or make a direct donation, we can still do it. We just want to make sure we have crossed all the T’s and dotted all the I’s. We are going to leave no stone unturned to meet our goal.”

United Fund has raised $447,000 of a $475,000 goal. The campaign ends March 31.

“It’s important for people to know this goal is the goal for a reason,” said Merry Craig Boaz, United Fund executive director. “We don’t arbitrarily set some lofty goal. The goal is the amount it takes to fully fund the agencies with the funds we have allotted to them. If we don’t reach the goal, that amount has to be cut.

“The needs of Surry County are tremendous. But so is the support. That’s what makes United Fund so successful, the people who have stepped up. We want to applaud them.”

“The United Fund of Surry is an organization that fundraises for 26 local member agencies,” said United Fund consultant Christina Plitt. “Our goal is to help raise money and awareness in Surry County so our member agencies can dedicate the majority of their time to helping others. Although some of our member agencies have strong fundraising boards of directors, most of our member agencies have employees that have the professional skill set to offer the services they provide, not raise money to cover their budget.”

A contribution can be made to the general fund and the monies touch all 26 agencies. Or, if the donor is more directive in his/her giving, they can allocate their contribution to the preferred member agencies.

“This is attractive to many of our Surry County small businesses that are bombarded with donation or sponsorship requests,” said Plitt. “Through the United Fund of Surry, they can give to all of the agencies with one contribution.”

The following leadership levels are available: Granite Society, $5,000 and above; Pinnacle Club, $2,500-4,999; Blue Ridge Club, $1,000-2,499; Leadership Club, $500-999.

At this time, if a donor prefers, a pledge can be made now and paid monthly or quarterly over a year’s time.

Contributions stay local. The United Fund has decided to remain an unaffiliated local organization so that money raised in Surry County stays in Surry County.

Yearly, all United Fund agencies must provide information on their operating budgets and how their funds are being used. A Budget and Allocations Committee meets with and reviews each agency to determine their funding allocation for the upcoming year. The United Fund makes every effort to ensure that the donations are being put to use responsibly.

United Fund of Surry looking for help to reach goal

By John Peters - jpeters@mtairynews.com

The United Fund of Surry County is 13 percent off from meeting its $475,000 goal – putting a three-year streak of meeting its goal in danger with a month to go.

More importantly to United Fund officials, if the agency falls short on its goal, that means it will likely have to cut back on the money it can award to its 26 member agencies, cutbacks which can affect members of the community who can least afford to lose help.

The United Fund reported Monday that it had reached 87 percent of its goal, meaning the agency has raised about $413,000 thus far in a campaign that ends March 31.

“We are still waiting on a few workplace campaigns to be turned in, but are still projecting that we will have a $50,000 shortfall to make up,” said Merry Craig Boaz, United Fund of Surry executive director. “We are currently reaching out to businesses that have not yet previously engaged in the campaign to make up the projected shortfall.”

By this point last year, the United Fund had raised 97 percent of the goal and went on to exceed that goal by $15,000, allowing the organization to fully fund all its 26 agency commitments.

”Several factors have impacted this year’s fundraising efforts, the largest of which has been a decrease in large corporate grants from businesses that have been long-standing supporters of the United Fund,” the agency said in a statement regarding the effort. “Some of the decreases can be attributed to changes in how these grants are awarded; from a structure based on service area population to an employee gift-matching structure.”

Another factor has been a decline in donations from Surry County residents who work in Forsyth County.

”These donations, collected by the United Way of Forsyth, have to specifically be designated back to Surry County for them to be received by the United Fund so that it can be distributed to local agencies,” the Surry County group said.

While it has been a challenging campaign year, there have been several highlights including new corporate gifts from Northside Mortgage, Pike Electric, Home Instead Senior Care, and United Plastic, according to Boaz.

“We are extremely grateful to the businesses that have recently opened their doors to hear our message and engage in the campaign,” she said. “The United Fund campaign is an excellent way for local businesses to support the community. Gifts from their company or their employees can be allocated to support 26 local agencies or designated to a specific agency of their choice. ”

Not meeting the annual campaign goal means that the United Fund will have to re-evaluate funding decisions and will not be able to fund agencies at projected levels this year.

“Since agencies rely heavily on these funding projections for their operating budgets, we are doing everything that we can to make sure that we do not have to make reductions to allocations,” Boaz said.

The last time that the United Fund had to reduce allocations to member agencies due to not meeting the campaign goal was 2015.

“Yokefellow Ministries relies heavily on the funding from the United Fund of Surry to help provide food for those in need in Surry County,” said Jan Varney, Yokefellow Ministries board member and volunteer. “If our funding is decreased, that is less goods that can be purchased and distributed.”

Local businesses can still help by reaching out to the United Fund to discuss options for corporate gifts, workplace campaigns, and fundraisers. People are encouraged to check with their employers to see if their company matches donations and to follow up to see if their donations are coming back home if they work out of the county.

United Fund has $475,000 goal

By Tom Joyce - tjoyce@civitasmedia.com

That deja vu feeling of having done something before surrounds the latest United Fund of Surry campaign, which has the same goal as last year — $475,000 — and organizers hoping for the same successful result.

In late April, United Fund officials and supporters celebrated a $490,000 total raised for 2017-2018, but that slate has been wiped clean with the beginning of the 2018-19 campaign.

It kicked off last Saturday with the annual Downtown Rocks & Runs event, and now fund organizers are buckling down for a major push to provide vital financial support to 26 different member agencies serving the community.

Those range from rescue squads to a homeless shelter and scouting organizations.

Music festival planned

The 2018-19 campaign already is eyeing one obstacle compared to last year, according to Merry Craig Boaz, United Fund executive director.

“We’ve had some changes in grant monies that we have gotten for years,” Boaz said Friday, which has left the United Fund trying to make up the shortfall.

“So one thing we’re going to do this year is a music festival on Oct. 6,” she said.

The Granite City Rhythm and Brews event will be held at Veterans Memorial Park, featuring multiple musical groups, food trucks and beer trucks.

“It’s sort of a two-fold thing,” Boaz explained. “It’s another opportunity to fund-raise, also it’s a different kind of event — it’s something new we’re trying.”

Boaz says the music festival reflects the need for the United Fund to be more creative in its approaches. “The way people give is really changing,” she added, which requires new ways to reach the public.

Work sites a key

Aside from special events to raise money, the United Fund will be relying on its traditional methods.

“We still place a lot of emphasis on our workplace campaign,” Boaz said, which is the lifeblood of the United Fund each year.

About 60 percent of the monetary goal is achieved through that measure.

For the 2017-18 fundraising effort, 35 individual workplace campaigns were initiated throughout the county. More than 1,600 people participated in those efforts, either through designating a portion of their paychecks or by making one-time gifts.

Boaz specifically mentioned Altec Inc., a relatively new industry in Surry County which has become a key supporter of the United Fund.

Altec received the Pat Woltz Way to Glow Award for the campaign for mounting an employee effort demonstrating the most creativity, participation and commitment to the community. This resulted in a tripling of the number of employees participating and a 130-percent increase in total pledges from Altec.

“Those kinds of workplace campaigns are tremendous for us,” Boaz said Friday.

Civic clubs and other organizations also are targeted with the same idea in mind: that more funding impact can be made as a group rather than singularly, although the United Fund certainly welcomes any individual contributions.

In addition to contacts made by United Fund representatives, anyone interested in participating in workplace or other efforts is urged to be proactive by reaching out to Boaz or Will Sheppard, the chairman of this year’s campaign.

“I would encourage any local business or company to contact me in reference to a workplace campaign,” Boaz said.

This can be done via email at merrycraig@unitedfundofsurry.org.

Those wishing to support the United Fund also can call its office at (336) 789-3087 or direct general inquiries to office@unitedfundofsurry.org.

The 2018-2019 campaign will run until the end of March.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

Downtown Rocks & Runs for the 11th time

By Bill Colvard bcolvard@MtAiryNews.com

United Fund of Surry kicked off its fundraising campaign with the 11th-Annual Downtown Rocks & Runs 5K, 10K and Kid’s Fun Run on Saturday.

“This is the most participants we’ve ever had,” said Merry Craig Boaz, United Fund executive director. “There were 242 participants.”

“This event includes the 26 agencies that benefit from United Fund, 53 sponsors, donors both individual and corporate, and the community. This is a good opportunity for them all to come together. That doesn’t normally happen.”

Almost half of the runners who pre-registered were from outside Surry County, with several contingents coming from other states, according to Boaz.

“People are driving up here for this run. It’s a tourism event as well. I didn’t know that before.”

Unlike most of the local runs which are completely contained on the city’s greenway system, Downtown Rocks and Runs is partially a road race, with runners taking to city streets.

Downtown Rocks and Runs 5K, 10K and Kid’s Fun Run and the Mayberry half-marathon, 5k and 10k are the only races that utilize city roadways, according to Darren Lewis, director of Mount Airy Parks and Recreation.

Patrol Lt. Jeff Inman of the Mount Airy Police Department was directing traffic entering Main Street from Rockford Street into the lane of Main Street that was not occupied with the finish line for the 5k and 10k as runners passed by in one lane and cars in another.

“It would be more of a hazard if we closed the streets,” said Inman. It’s better to alleviate some of the traffic. If we closed all of the streets, traffic would back up so far. We have to allow some of them through.”

Inman estimated half of the 10k course used city streets and about one quarter of the 5k, with the rest on greenways.

“Having the rescue squad here really frees things up for us,” Inman added. “Their volunteers are everywhere. At every corner.”

One of the streets in the race course is known by some runners as “the defining moment.” Others call it simply “The Hill.” Boaz called it “French Fry Hill.”

The street in question is the block of Independence Boulevard from Riverside Drive to Renfro Street which is indeed quite a hill. And a big McDonald’s sign indicates there are French fries at the top.

Ben Royster said, “You see it coming for half a mile before you get to it.”

“You know the end is coming, but you have to get through it,” added Mark Royster.

Angie Cagle, a United Fund board member said, “We had complaints about the hill. But we took a survey and most people wanted to keep it. So we did.”

“It’s a great course,” said Mark Royster.

After all the running was done, and medals were about to be handed out, Boaz said, “You didn’t just make it up French Fry Hill, you made it up quickly.

“You didn’t just run for yourself or your family. You also ran for the 32,000 people who will be helped by United Fund of Surry this year.”

In the 5k, Erick Ramirez-Ramos, Dobson, 17, placed 1st with a time of 17:27, Samuel Haynes, Cana, Virginia, 20, placed 2nd with a time of 18:03, and Tyler Barrett, Hillsville, Virginia, 21, placed 3rd with a time of 18:40.

Among female runners in the 5K, Sydney Haynes, Cana, Va., 19, placed 1st with a time of 21:06, Alison Bryant, Elkin, 39, placed 2nd with a time of 23:12, and Chloe Fountain, Hickory, 17, placed 3rd with a time of 24:01.

In the 10k, Ediberto Crisanto, Rock Hill, S.C., 25, placed 1st with a time of 36:01, Austin Eaton, Ararat, Virginia, 15, placed 2nd with a time of 39:37, and Nathan Beamguard, Hamptonville, 46, placed third with a time of 40:19.

Among female runners in the 10k, Alicia Rider, Winston-Salem, 37, placed first with a time of 44:49, Nicole Harrison, Mount Airy, 32, placed 2nd with a time of 50:49, and Samantha Monk, Mount Airy, placed 3rd with a time of 51:09.

Detailed stats can be found at http://downtownrocksandruns.itsyourrace.com/Results.aspx?id=1858&y=2018&eid=75143&g=m&amin=40&amax=49

Sheppard tapped for United Fund campaign

A local business leader with long-standing roots in Surry County and extensive involvement in the community will lend his expertise to the United Fund of Surry for the upcoming campaign.

Will Sheppard, president of Surry Chemicals Inc., has been named as the 2018-19 United Fund of Surry Campaign Chair. In this role, Sheppard will lead the effort to raise $475,000 in Surry County this fall.

“As a person who grew up in Surry County and is now running a business and raising a family here, we believe that Will is an excellent representative to carry our message that we are Better Together,” the United Fund said in announcing Sheppard’s selection. “By funding and supporting the network of agencies in our area, we are not only improving the lives of those directly served, but every family in our community.”

Sheppard and his wife, Christie, have been married for 13 years. They live in Mount Airy, raising their children, Anne Rachel, who is 9, and Pennson, 5.

Sheppard was raised in Pilot Mountain and graduated from East Surry High School, where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout with Troop 545. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001 with a degree in management and society and returns often for Tar Heel football games.

“Will is a very active member of the community,” the United Fund statement said. He is an elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Mount Airy, serves on the Board of Directors of the Surry Arts Council, and is on the Board of Directors for Mount Airy Downtown. He also enjoys coaching tee-ball and softball for Reeves Community Center.

“It is my honor to chair this year’s campaign and I look forward to working closely with the board as well as reaching out to the member agencies, individual donors, and local companies. Being a Boy Scout and serving on the board of the Surry Arts Council, I understand the impact the UFOS campaign has and I am eager to get started with what I believe will be a great year of fundraising.

“I also look forward to extending the reach of this campaign to all of Surry County as the benefits of the UFOS stretch county-wide.”

“Will’s leadership, our supportive donor base, and Surry County workforce is a recipe for the best campaign yet,” said Merry Craig Boaz, executive director of the United Fund.

The United Fund 2018-19 campaign kicks off Saturday and will run through March 31

Catrina Alexander, New Board Member

The United Fund of Surry welcomes Catrina Alexander to the Board of Directors. Catrina and husband Mel reside Mount Airy and have two children, Jackson and Macy Smith. Catrina has lived in Mount Airy since graduating from Western Carolina University in 1991. She worked for Surry County from 1993-2005, until which time she became the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Mount Airy. In March of 2018, Mrs. Alexander became the Career Development Coordinator for Mount Airy City Schools and is excited to continue to serve students and families. She serves as the Foundation Chair for Surry Sunrise Rotary and on the planning committee for the NC Women’s LeadHership Conference. She was honored to receive the Greater of Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award for 2016.

Catrina has been a long time supporter of the United Fund through workplace campaigns held through the City of Mount Airy. In addition, she participated in the United Fund by representing the Reeves Community Foundation, one of the United Fund's 26 member agencies. In 2015-2016, Catrina served as the United Fund of Surry Campaign Chair and raised over $480,000. Catrina's knowledge of the community and diversity of experience with the United Fund will be a strong addition to the United Fund Board. 

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