United Way kicks off 2018 fundraising campaign

United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore recently held the 14th Annual Campaign Kickoff Breakfast to launch  the 2018 “LIVE UNITED & Open Doors” campaign season.  Generously sponsored by Salisbury University, the breakfast brought together over 225 business and community leaders to hear how United Way “Opens Doors” for neighbors in need through direct services and financial support for 81 local programs focused in Health, Education and Financial Stability.

Led by Roger Follebout of Peninsula Regional Medical Center as the Master of Ceremonies, the event began with a warm welcome from Dr. Karen Olmstead, Interim Provost & Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs.  Attendees then enjoyed SU Student, Lance Fisher, who led the National Anthem, followed by a moving acapella performance by Salisbury University’s Squawkapella student-led choir.

This year’s breakfast featured a discussion panel on “The Win-Win of Community Engagement” with local  leaders sharing how their partnership with United Way makes a difference in both their workplace culture and external relationships, while helping the community at large.  Panelists included Honorary Breakfast Host Jim Perdue, Chairman of Perdue Farms, Steve Leonard, President & CEO of Peninsula Regional Medical Center & Peninsula Regional Health System, Claudia Nagle, Executive Director of Diakonia, and Dean Goodwin, Marketing Director of RPS International.  In addition, Curtis Paul, Executive Director of the Recovery Resource Center, delivered an inspiring testimonial about his own experience with addiction, and how he has been led to help others become successful in their recovery.

Dana Seiler, Chairman of United Way’s Board of Directors, Jim Hartstein, Executive Vice Chair & Immediate Past Chair, and Pam Gregory, Interim President & CEO, officially kicked off the 2018 United Way Campaign sharing how together our community can Open Doors and continue to make a difference for 1 in 3  Lower Shore neighbors through campaign participation, collaborative opportunities and volunteerism.

“We are a community of like-minded people who love our neighbors in need.  I am looking forward to another fantastic year as we combine our talents, resources and dedication to open doors of opportunity through our agency partners and programs,” shared Dana Seiler.

Pam Gregory stated, “We are so thankful to Salisbury University for making this event possible, allowing us to once again bring together community leaders in one of our largest kickoff events ever.   The positive energy in the room to “LIVE UNITED & Open Doors” was palpable and provided a fantastic start for our annual campaign. We are honored to be the stewards for thousands of local donors, to ensure gifts of any size are maximized and invested in Lower Shore programs making a measurable difference in the lives of our neighbors every day.”

 

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