What a great name our organization has: United Way. The path of togetherness.
Last Monday, CEOs from competing floorcovering companies, competing banks and other local industry gathered in one intersection of downtown Dalton. The reason: to see who could pedal a tricycle the fastest and claim the gold cup and a few bragging rights. They came to show support of our local United Way.
As if the thousands of dollars these companies have given annually to United Way don’t do enough to demonstrate their dedicated support, these CEOs showed up after work, donned a United Way T-shirt, a blue superhero cape and jumped on a tricycle.
United Way is embraced by local companies. Belief in our mission is strong and supported from the plant floor to the corner office. This is why our United Way is so successful. We have worked hard to gain the trust and confidence of the local business community. Since the 1940s, they have opened their doors to us annually for employee campaigns — and throughout the year for employee volunteerism.
When was the last time this many local CEOs all came together and stood shoulder to shoulder around a common goal? United Way has the power to do just that. Corporate leaders put their business interests aside and joined the United Way team. It gives me chills. It takes everyone in the community working together to create a brighter future.
The Superhero Sprint & CEO Trike Relay were well supported, a very visible representation of the connectedness that is the fabric of our United Way. Visit Facebook.com/unitedwaynwga for pictures of both events.
Thank you to all the participants. A special congratulations goes to J&J Industries for taking home the CEO Trike Relay gold cup. CEO Trike Relay teams included:
• BB&T: Bill Davies, Blake Gober, Joel Etheridge and McKenzie Fleming
• Beaulieu: Carl Bouckaert, Ralph Boe, Karel Vercruyssen and Nicolas Bouckaert
• Brown Industries: Stuart Nelson, Rick Klein, Tim Holt and Kenny Sheppard
• Dalton Utilities: Don Cope, John Thomas, Craig Bock and Jeremy Talley
• Engineered Floors: Bob Shaw, Zack Adamson, William Young and Joe Young
• First Bank of Dalton: Barry Robbins, Scott Sellers, Mark Godfrey and Mitch Sanford
• IVC: Angelina Cebrian, Peter Boschmans, Derek Kozlowski and Micah Riggle
• J&J Industries: Doug Schneller, Jonathan Sierra, Louis Fordham and Brad Townsend
• Marketing Alliance: Bryan Hair, Landon Hair, Sandy McDowell and Raj Kapur
• Mohawk: Jeff Lorberbaum, Chris Behrends, Brian Carson and Shelley Yeary
• Shaw Industries: Vance Bell, Randy Merritt, David Morgan and Pete Sigmon
• US Floors: Piet Dossche, Lawrence Dossche, Julian Dossche and Sam Ruble
The name United Way is so broad. United Way covers so many different aspects of our community to improve lives: education, basic needs and health. From getting kids ready for kindergarten, helping a family cope with Alzheimer’s to making sure victims of a house fire get back on their feet — these are just a few of the ways our United Way is here to help.
Thank you to all the donors, volunteers and even a few superheroes who make this community work possible. A special thank you to Kevin Sanders, vice president of hospitality at Shaw Industries and this year’s United Way campaign chairman, for having the vision for the CEO Trike Relay and bringing excitement to our campaign season.
To learn more about United Way visit ourunitedway.org.
Amanda Burt is president of the United Way of Northwest Georgia.