Congratulations to the United Way of Liberty County, which last week exceeded its 2011 fundraising campaign goal of $181,000 by raising $185,026 — up $64,026 from the $121,000 raised last year.
UW-Liberty Executive Director Jennifer Darsey — who just took over this year — wasted no time getting down to business. She and her army of volunteers, board members and staffers did a commendable job of increasing awareness, planning fundraisers, soliciting donations and support, publicizing the United Way’s mission and making the organization’s impact known.
Darsey’s leadership skills, dedication to the UW and belief in helping those in need were evident in her handling of this year’s campaign. From the energy and time the first-year director poured into the kickoff party and other UW events, to the frequent updates she consistently provided and her willingness to traipse all over the county whenever duty called, it’s apparent that Darsey’s commitment was just what the United Way needed.
However, she’s adamant that she can’t take all the credit. Darsey, who said the most important lesson the campaign has taught her is that passion truly is what drives people, was quick to praise the people who’ve worked tirelessly alongside her for the past few months.
United Way co-campaign Chairs Anthony Burns, Pastor Richard Hayes, John Scherer, Miranda Sikes and Libby Hodge, The Heritage Bank employees Garrett Smith and Chris Wilkins, Coastal Bank employees Isabel Hernandez and acting United Way board Chairwoman Katherine McCartney, Coastal Courier business manager Kathryn Fox, Midway Mayor Clemontine Washington and UW executive assistant Kathy Lancia — just to name a few — all have done an outstanding job with the campaign this year, Darsey said. She expressed additional gratitude for her husband, Alan Darsey, who holds no position on the UW board.
“Alan is my biggest advocate and has been an enormous supporter of the United Way during this campaign,” the UW-Liberty director said. “Without his constant encouragement, there is absolutely no way I would have been able to stay positive and focused during the campaign.”
The success of this year’s campaign will be felt around Liberty County. The United Way touches countless lives and is an essential part of this community. It supports nonprofit agencies that stock food pantries, provide shelter to the homeless, offer programs for children and assist the disabled.
It’s also obvious that the people coordinating the UW fundraising campaign aren’t the only ones who have recognized its importance. Kudos to Liberty County residents and businesses for pitching in and doing their part to support the organization and its work. The community will reap the rewards of your generosity in helping to make this campaign a true success story.