Sense of newness' marks United Way
By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
March 15, 2002
Donnie Smith, outgoing chairman of the board of the local United Way chapter, characterized 2001 as bringing a sense of newness to the organization.
The chapter's name was changed to United Way of East Mississippi and West Alabama, it acquired a new location with the purchase of a house at the corner of 20th Street and 23rd Avenue, Louis Sutton Jr. was named as the chapter's new president and the local United Way expanded into new territories Clarke and Kemper counties and areas of West Alabama and it initiated several new programs within the community.
Smith's remarks were made at the organization's annual meeting and awards banquet held Thursday evening at Kahlmus Auditorium, Mississippi State University-Meridian campus.
At the meeting United Way board members elected a new executive committee: Joel Johnson, chairman; Tammy Eason, vice chairman of community impact; Amy Boutwell, vice chairman of resource distribution; Cindy Dyess, vice chairman of marketing and resource development; Anthony Wilson, secretary; Alan Lamar, treasurer; Betty Lou Jones, campaign chairman; and Louis Sutton Jr., president.
New board members were also named, including John Myrick, superintendent of Choctaw County Schools in Alabama; Tony Pompelia, of Leading Edges Marketing; and Leslie York of the Boeing Corporation.
They were elected to fill the vacancies of outgoing board members: Janet McLin, superintendent of Meridian Public Schools; Bent Moulds, of Rea, Shaw, Giffin &Stuart LLP; and David Stephens, of Peavey Electronics.
United Way of East Mississippi and West Alabama funds 16 agencies. It began its fall fund-raising campaign with a goal of $800,000 about a week after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Early this year, the goal was amended to $765,000, which is what the chapter earned last year.
Joel Johnson, who moved from his campaign chairman position Thursday night to become chairman of this year's board, said he is optimistic and hopeful that the local chapter will reach its goal this summer. More donations are coming in. At the meeting Johnson announced the current campaign had earned $702,000.
Most of the money United Way receives comes from employee donations from various companies. The following were recognized as the top 15 campaign contributors for 2001:
Rush Health Systems, $64,000; Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center, $43,322; Williams Co., $37,000; Mississippi Power Co., $27,823; Peavey Electronics, $27,424; Atlas Roofing Co., $21,516; East Mississippi State Hospital, $20,604; Meridian Public Schools, $19,982; Avery Denison, $16,254; Clearspan Components, $15,265; Meridian Coca-Cola, $15,251; Structural Steel Services, $14,714; United Parcel Service, $13,583; Bell South, $12,434; and Mitchell Companies, $10,264.