United Way of Wayne County thanked investors and supporters for a successful year of improving lives Tuesday morning at their Annual Meeting held at First Baptist Church. Walter Krentz, 2022 Board Chair, started the program by acknowledging the new and old relationships formed to help strengthen our community and keep it “connected“. He said, “It’s been a successful year with new relationships built, strong collaborations continued, the opening of the Stephen & Susan Parr Family Learning Center, and the return of Taste of Wayne. Most importantly, we were happy to continue to support the work of some amazing non-profits both new and established”.
This year’s meeting featured three success stories delivered by United Way of Wayne County Board Members. Melissa Throm with State Farm Insurance began with a story of a 5th grader who, thanks to Rones Chapel Area Community Center’s Tutor to the Top program improved their reading skills FIVE grade levels in just 8 months. Andrea Freile-Ogburn with Wayne County Public Schools was next with a story of a wife who has leaned on the American Red Cross’ Armed Forces Emergency Services program many times to bring her husband home for the birth of all their children as well as other family emergencies. Last, was Ken Derksen with Wayne County Public Schools reading about a community member with trouble reading, and thanks to the Adult Literacy Program through Literacy Connections, he was able to step into a leadership role at work as well as take additional courses at Wayne Community College. These are true success stories and without the help of United Way of Wayne County, these community members might not have been able to get the help they needed. In addition, board members Selena Worrell and Pamela Pearce presented local companies and organizations with specific awards in recognition of their successes during the 2022 Campaign.
Community Supporting Schools and Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company received the Spirit of Wayne – Changed Lives Award for having the highest percentage increase in the total corporate and employee investments made from the previous year. This also reflects the increase in lives changed.
Southco Distributing Company received the Spirit of Wayne – Fair Share Award for having the highest increase in the number of fair share donors from the previous year. They embraced the idea that when we give our fair share, one hour of pay per month, we can impact more lives.
Wayne Realty and Insurance received the Spirit of Wayne – Per Capita Award for having the highest combined employee and corporate dollars per capita in the current year.
Franklin Baking Company received the Spirit of Wayne – Special Events Award for raising the highest amount of dollars at one or more special events outside of employee or corporate investments.
Dillard Academy Charter School, Wayne Preparatory Academy, Wayne School of Technical Arts, Skill Creations Inc., and Alta Foods received the Spirit of Wayne – Inaugural Campaign Award for producing a strong first campaign with signs of future success. We welcome them to the team and look forward to seeing what they will produce for 2023!
Seven investing companies or organizations were also recognized for investing in United Way of Wayne County at 100% participation. Those are as follows: Community Supporting Schools, Mount Olive Builders Supply, Partnership for Children, Wayne Pregnancy Center, Wayne Realty and Insurance, Worrell Contracting, and Rones Chapel Area Community Center.
Andrea Freile-Ogburn, Wayne County Public Schools, was awarded the Campaign Chairman’s Award for dedicating herself and her time to share the United Way of Wayne County’s story and for motivating others. She was a campaign volunteer who assisted the Campaign Chairman in her duties. She was the Chairman’s MVP. New to the Board, Andrea jumped right in to attend campaigns. It wasn’t enough to interpret the message, she made a real connection with our major investors and their employees. She was joyful in sharing the message of resources and she took the opportunity to educate staff and volunteers on cultural relativity.
Daniel Baynes, Rosewood High School, was awarded the Campaign Coordinator of the Year Award. This award recognizes an employee of one of United Wayne of Wayne County’s Major Investors that goes the extra mile to influence their employee team. Baynes spent quality time sharing the United Way message and mission making a positive impact on the community. He didn’t hesitate to speak up and speak out to recognize the work of United Way and gives of his time and talents in and out of school. Baynes is a passionate supporter of United Way, as well as many of our Community Partners; and that passion runs through his school and shows in the campaign work he leads.
Paul Rutter, University of Mount Olive, was awarded the Committee Member of the Year Award. This award is given to the volunteer committee member who displays exceptional leadership, organization, and communication while serving the United Way mission. “It’s never easy picking a recipient for this award because we are blessed with so many wonderful committee members and couldn’t do our work without them, but the choice had to be made.” Sherry Archibald, Executive Director. Rutter not only leads the community investment, and education subcommittee, but he also picks up whenever needed to support others and he is the first to leave a message or note of encouragement to our staff.
The United Way of Wayne County had the distinct pleasure of announcing the recipients of the statewide recognized awards. Annually, the United Way of North Carolina offers all United Ways in North Carolina an opportunity to honor organizations whose United Way campaigns or partnerships exemplify the “spirit” of their community. In 2022, on behalf of the United Way Wayne County, the United Way of North Carolina is recognizing Franklin Baking Company, Sentry Insurance, Southco Distributing Company, Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company, and Wayne County Public Library. An award ceremony is set for this Friday, March 3rd at 10:00 am at Wayne Community College; however, they took the opportunity to acknowledge this recognition this morning. We look forward to officially recognizing them on Friday.
Each year, in addition to the Spirit of Wayne Awards, United Way of Wayne County chooses a volunteer to receive the Emil Rosenthal Award. Before the prestigious award winner was announced, a few words from David Weil were shared on the history of Rosenthal. As the great-nephew, Weil had the opportunity to learn from his example of service to the community. For almost 100 years, the United Way of Wayne County has been a volunteer-based organization with direct results coming from a fantastic group of volunteers, committed to our mission. Beginning as the Community Chest, evolving into the United Fund, and elevating to the United Way of Wayne County that you know today; Emil Rosenthal was a recognized leader with a strong ability to motivate others to serve the needs of Wayne County.
The 2022 Emil Rosenthal recipient, Dr, David Tayloe shared the following “This year’s recipient has served the United Way since 2016 as a board member; however, he has supported events and campaigns for many years prior. He is community-driven and volunteers to serve in multiple capacities. He served multiple years as Community Investment Chair, serves on the Finance Committee, and you will find him and his family volunteering at many events throughout the year. He recognizes the significance of sponsorship in addition to workplace campaigns and helps to coordinate strong support. This year’s recipient is also a member of the Goldsboro Rotary Club and exemplifies ‘Service Above Self’. Congratulations to Walter Krentz for receiving the 2023 Emil Rosenthal Award and for leading our board with a servant’s heart.”