The Transylvania Times -

United Way Thanks Workplace-Giving Teams


March 11, 2019

Courtesy Photo

Representatives from some of the Bronze Award workplace-giving campaigns display their certificates. Pictured left to right are Jessica Juergens for First Bank, Brittany Marcum for United Community Banks of Brevard, Stacey Gash for Western Carolina Community Action, and Heather Knox and Heather Blythe for PNC Bank.

United Way of Transylvania County (UWTC) and its event sponsor, Sunrise Café, served up breakfast and an update on a newly funded program to representatives of workplace-giving agencies on Friday, March 3. Attendees also received framed certificates to share back to their workplace teams.

UWTC Chief Executive Officer Louis Negrón welcomed the group and stated his personal vision for United Way of Transylvania County that includes UWTC serving as a resource to other resources.

"I want us all to build one another up and promote community and individual healing," Negron said.

Michael Brown, executive director, and McNeill Mann, natural play coordinator, both of Mountain Sun Community School, presented information about the Transylvania Natural Play Project (NPP). The new program, funded by UWTC, is the product of collaborative planning and implementation by Brevard Music Center, El Centro, Mountain Sun Community School and The Family Place.

The NPP collaborative is creating structured outdoor play experiences for families with pre-school children from socially, culturally and economically diverse backgrounds. These opportunities will encourage entire families to grow together.

NPP is based on the premise that the amount of time for natural play is decreasing, as society is becoming increasingly technology-based. Natural play supports creativity and problem solving, which, according to the University of Washington, are key to academic success. Natural Play and appropriately designed outdoor spaces also increase physical activity, encourage social interaction.

According to Brown and Mann, NPP developing outdoor spaces designed specifically for natural play. Guided outdoor natural play date events for families with children up to age 5 will start soon.

Pledge Update

Saunders Grommesh, resource development direc-tor for UWTC, presented a brief annual campaign update. Grommesh reported that UWTC has received pledges for 76 percent of this year's pledge goal of $450,000.

"Workplace-giving, whet-her through payroll deductions or through a special event, is an extremely important part of the donations UWTC uses to fund local programs," Grommesh said. "UWTC combines donations from multiple sources, so that they can have a big impact on helping our neighbors. We are encouraged by pledges received so far, but United Way still needs $107,891 more to meet this year's pledge goal. We'd love to be able to fully fund our direct services and all the program requests we receive."

Thanks And Recognitions

UWTC's Board Chair Terry Decker and Negrón presented "Thanks and Recognitions Tokens" to representatives of organizations that conducted United Way workplace-giving campaigns during 2018 for the 2019 year.

Brittany Marcum was honored as Workplace Volunteer of the Year for energizing the United Way giving team at United Community Bank's Main Street Office in Brevard.

Brevard Music Center (BMC) received Workplace Community Supporter of the Year for its support of United Way donors employed at Transylvania County Schools and for providing a platform for BMC patrons to learn about UWTC at a Free Monday concert.

Top Campaign Coordinator recognitions went to Rosman Elementary School's Jennifer Worley and T.C. Henderson School of Science and Math's Kim Moore.

Courtesy Photo

(Right) Terry Decker, United Way of Transylvania County's board chairman, presents Trudy Pierron of Brevard Academy with the Largest Donation Increase Award.

Other recognitions included: Workplace Champ-ion (Transylvania County Schools); Team Spirit (Brevard Academy and T.C. Henderson Girls ROAR); One Hundred Percent Participation Club (First Citizens Bank, Rosman Elementary School, T.C. Henderson Elementary School and Western Carolina Community Action); Largest Donation Increase (Brevard Academy); Highest Number of Donors (Transylvania County Schools); Largest Campaign Contributor (Transylvania Regional Hospital); Pace Setters (City of Brevard and MAC Heating & Air); Gold Level of Support (Duke Energy, Transylvania County, Transylvania County Schools and Transylvania Regional Hospital); Silver Level of Support (Brevard Academy, Brevard College, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens Bank, MAC Heating and Air, Wells Fargo); Bronze Level of Support (Belk of Brevard, Brevard Music Center, City of Brevard, Comporium, Ecusta Credit Union, First Bank, Haywood EMC, MB Industries, PNC Bank, The Transylvania Times, United Community Bank, Walmart, Western Carolina Community Action and White Squirrel Realty).


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