Guest speaker Becky Booker (far left) was joined by (from left) Bobby Martin, Curtis Smith, Gwyn Loyd and Van Forrester of the Chilton County United Way at a "kick-off celebration" on Tuesday.
Guest speaker Becky Booker (far left) was joined by (from left) Bobby Martin, Curtis Smith, Gwyn Loyd and Van Forrester of the Chilton County United Way at a "kick-off celebration" on Tuesday.

Archived Story

United Way recognizes contributors, announces goal

Published 3:11pm Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chilton County United Way announced its annual goal on Tuesday at a Kick-Off Celebration, after recognizing two long-time contributors to the organization.

The event, which was held at Alabama Power’s Conference Center in Clanton with Alabama Power Service Organization providing lunch for attendees, began with Verbena High School’s Red Devil Regiment marching band filing into and around the conference room while playing their instruments.

After the band played the National Anthem, a welcome was given by Van Forrester, chairman of Chilton County United Way.

Verbena High School's Red Devil Regiment marching band performed at the event, which was held at the Alabama Power Conference Center.
Verbena High School’s Red Devil Regiment marching band performed at the event, which was held at the Alabama Power Conference Center.

Many agencies supported by United Way were represented at the event, including: Chilton County Emergency Assistance Center, Chilton County YMCA, SPAN of Chilton County, American Red Cross, Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center, Family Sunshine Center, 4-H Program and the Chilton County Department of Human Resources.

United Way Board member Curtis Smith presented Gwyn Loyd with a plaque for 20 years of service to the organization.

“The job could not have been done without all of you all,” Loyd said.

Then, fellow board member Bobby Martin presented Smith with a plaque for his years of service.

Smith was the United Way’s chairman from 2000 until recently. He resigned from the position but will remain on the board.

“You’ve really worked hard for the board,” Martin said to Smith. “We appreciate all you’ve done for the Chilton County United Way.”

Guest speaker Becky Booker of the United Ways of Alabama was introduced by Forrester.

Booker said United Way has evolved from a fundraising organization to a “critical community convener,” and that the organization focuses on three building blocks of a happy life: education, health and income.

“United Way nationally has put a stake in the ground,” Booker said. “We want to cut the dropout rate in half. This is something that affects every single community.”

The last act of business before the conclusion of the program was the announcement of Chilton County United Way’s 2014 fundraising goal: $170,000.

“We need everybody’s help,” said Martin, the campaign chairman. “We’re going to need all the help we can get.”

Anyone interested in volunteering for United Way should contact Forrester at rvforres@southernco.com or (205) 280-4401.

Other agencies supported by United Way include: Chilton-Shelby Mental Health, Chilton County Board of Education, Chilton Education Foundation, Care Net, West Central Alabama Rehab, Pediatric Rehab, Arthritis Foundation, Operation Santa Claus, Maplesville Toys for Kids, Raleigh’s Place, Humane Society of Chilton County, Girl Scouts of Chilton County and Boy Scouts of Chilton County.

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