United Way of Cullman County On a Sharp Upward Rise

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United Way of Cullman County On a Sharp Upward Rise
Annual Charitable Contributions Approach $500,000

The United Way of Cullman County conducted their annual luncheon gathering at TP Country Club at 12 noon on Wednesday.

This yearly event allows the United Way to sincerely thank the many Cullman area donors for their personal and/or organizations’ charitable contributions, along with a review the financial strength of the agency, and the introduction of Board members.

This year the mood was buoyant with the modern day United Way of Cullman County clearly and documentably on a sharp upward rise.

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The event opened with Executive Director of the United Way of Cullman County – Sammie Danford – giving all in attendance a very warm welcome.

Heath Taylor then led the attendees with an Invocation as well as the Pledge of Allegiance.

Burma Graves presented a touching and informative campaign film and agency story. Burma also stunned Danford with unscripted, heartfelt support for her performance as Director.

During a lunch featuring tomato and cheese chicken breasts, rosemary potatoes, garden salad, and rolls, departing Board Chair – Deborah ‘Pepper’ Hoover – ran through an extensive list of acknowledgments from the podium:

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Hoover also described a number of successful community fundraising events the United Way was involved in during 2017 such as the Crawfish Bowl series, a Hailstorm Relief initiative, Depot Day, and the Day of Caring.

In addition, she thanked the many donors present for their generous support of the United Way in 2017 who gave $451,954.

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Hoover also presented the annual report on the organizations of seventeen charitable organizations that it directly supports:

• 2-1-1
• 4H Clubs of Cullman County
• American Red Cross
• Commission on Aging
• Cullman Caring For Kids
• Center for Developmentally Disabled
• Daystar House
• Easter Seals
• First Call for Help
• Foster Grandparents & Senior Companion Program
• Girl Scouts
• Good Samaritan Health Clinic
• Hope Horses
• Hospice of Cullman County
• Pilot Light Home
• Saving Forgotten Warriors
• Victim Services
• Youth Advocate Program

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Next up, Micheal Gray of the United Way Young Professional Board took to the podium to discuss the important work and tireless efforts of the younger volunteers involved in the group. He cited the tremendous success of the recent Crawfish Boil event at Goat Island Brewing, as an example.

Hoover returned to lead the room in honoring outgoing Board members:

• Betty Dorris
• Dr. Joe Johson
• Seth Thompson

They were given nice tokens of the United Way of Cullman County’s appreciation in the form of an impressive wall plaque.

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Finally, Hoover introduced the new 2017-2018 Board President – Steve Moore. In his remarks, he thanked Hoover for her leadership as Board Chair and promised to do his utmost to build upon his past efforts in his new administrations.

Moore also provided an overview of the United Way’s Top 10 charitable campaigns of 2017:

★ Walmart Distribution Center
★ Publix
★ Rehau
★ Rusken Packaging
★ McGriff Industries
★ Wallace State Community College
★ Topre America
★ Cullman County Board of Education
★ LP Corporation
★ Cullman Primary Care

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Chair Hoover returned to the podium to present announce the establishment of a new Community Service Award. This award was given to Roy Drinkard for his decade-after-decade support of the United Way and other charitable organizations across Cullman.

Going forward, the Roy Drinkard Community Service Award will be bestowed upon the person in our community who exhibits similar commitment and personal character of Mr. Drinkard.

Things wrapped up with Hoover enacting the traditional ‘Passing of the Gavel’ ceremony to Steve Moore along with final comments from Sammie Danford.

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United Way Board Members

Deborah “Pepper” Hoover, Chair
Wallace State, School of Nursing

Steve Moore, Chair-Elect
Wal-Mart- Distribution Center

Alex Chaney, Secretary
Berry, Berry, Little, Brunner & Chaney

Albert von Pelser, Treasurer
Rehau

Heath Taylor, Past Chair
Rusken Packaging, Inc.

Shane Barnette
Cullman County Schools

Tim Collins
Cullman Today

Tricia Culpepper
Cullman City Schools

Betty Dorris
McGriff Industries

Dr. Joe Johnson
Cullman Primary Care of Alabama

Brad Pepper
Topre America

Seth Thompson
Thompson & Thompson

Ross West
Merchants Bank

Judy White
Drinkard Development

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United Way Young Professionals

Michael Gray, Chair
Dusty Baker, Past-Chair

Natalie Bonner
Alex Chaney
Stephanie Dye
Dustin Elliot
Lora Kent Gilliland
Sally Hamm
Jake Johnson
Katie McClendon
Jennifer Parker
Kelsey Rice
Josh Speakman
Taylor Quick
Lindsey Walker
Ross West
Stephanie Wood

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United Way of Cullman County On a Sharp Upward Rise

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Timothy Collins

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com.

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com.