“One by One” is the theme for this year’s United Way of the Coastal Empire-Liberty County Branch’s annual campaign.
The event kicked off Tuesday evening with a performance by the Perfect Praise Dancers of Full Gospel Tabernacle. Dancers twirled and waved colorful flags in the lobby of the board of education office to excite the audience about the campaign to raise $155,000.
Alan Darsey, campaign co-chair, who has been a contributor to United Way for 22 years, said the theme means “each person, each individual plays a huge role in what our community looks like and each person has the ability to have an impact on this community by their giving, advocacy and volunteerism.”
Darsey said he’s seen the difference contributions and volunteers make in the community.
Greg Schroeder, president of the United Way of the Coastal Empire, said UW has become an important part of people’s lives.
The emcee for the evening was Anthony Johnson, assistant principal for Joseph Martin Elementary School.
He talked about the Bible’s Good Samaritan, how he “took time away from his journey to help someone else finish their journey.”
Johnson called United Way a “family of champions.”
“We give, we advocate, we volunteer, one by one,” he said. “We fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community. We rise together, we fall together. We are one the journey together and with your support we are reaching for brand new heights.”
The audience then watched a video of testimonials from people who said contributions to United Way changed their lives.
Kathryn Fox, Coastal Courier business manager, introduced the nominees and winner of United Way’s 2017 volunteer of the year.
“There’s nothing greater than helping celebrate people who give of themselves without anything in return,” Fox said.
The nominees included Donald and Gabriel Nolan, Ena Wilson, Ron Sattele, David Lamb, Peyton Lingle, Doug and Kate Niles, Amber Smith and Phillip Scroggin.
Sarah Trawick was named volunteer of the year for her work with Girls on the Run of Coastal Georgia.
Before the event, attendees had the opportunity to visit agencies’ booths. The agencies receive UW funding and included Girls on the Run, Diversity Health, and Atlantic Area Court Appointed Special Advocates.
By His Hands Caterers provided the food.