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Heads are shaved as United Way celebrates record breaking funds raised

What a year it has been for United Way of Lamar County!

As a result, many non-profit, hardworking and giving agencies around Lamar County will receive more funds than ever before to help with the many different projects that benefit those in need.

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United Way members, supporters and volunteers look on as 2013 Campaign Chair, Stephen Gerrald, announces the totals of funds raised so far this year at the Annual Meeting & Campaign Celebration. According to the way things are going he said, there could still be more funds to be counted.

In what was a record breaking campaign for 2012-2013, the United Way’s efforts managed to raise $644,459 — over $100,000 more than the original campaign goal of $535,000, which was what the previous year’s campaign had managed to raise.

United Way divides the fundraising out into groups, such as government, industry, commercial, school, business/professional and healthcare.  Each of these different divisions set goals and are responsible for raising funds that go to the United Way campaign.

  • The Government division raised $8,190
  • Healthcare – $21,620
  • School – $29,436
  • Business/Professional – $33,410
  • Commercial – $69,607
  • Industry – over $490,000

Each of the divisions have businesses and organizations all over Lamar County that raise funds donated by employees, have bake sales, auctions, contests, etc. The idea is to get the whole community involved on every level to help raise funds for United Way.

Each division has a director or directors, who are active in the community and in that area — business, industry, commercial, etc.  It is their duty to oversee the fundraising goals and activities that are carried out.

While making things competitive makes things fun and gets community involved, it also ramps up the spirit, leading to these record breaking funds raised.

Former United Way board president, Kennon Daus, sits in the barber's seat to settle up his 'head shaving' bet.
Former United Way Campaign Chair, Kennon Daus, sits in the barber’s seat to settle up his ‘head shaving’ bet.

When you put shaving the heads of the Campaign Chair of this year and the past year on the line, things can really heat up.

While last year was also a successful campaign — raising more funds than their goal — at this year’s campaign’s beginning, former United Way Campaign Chair and current board president, Kennon Daus, told now Campaign Chair and vice president, Stephen Gerald, that if this campaign could raise the amount that they had reached — $535,000 — that he would shave his head completely.

Well, before the campaign for this year was even complete, that goal had been reached and Mr. Daus would have to pay up his end of the bet.

However, to set the bar even higher, Stephen told Daus and the rest of United Way that he would also shave his head if the campaign could reach an all time record high of around $585,000.

During United Way’s Annual Meeting & Campaign Celebration held on Wednesday, February 20, Campaign Chair, Stephen Gerald, announced the tallied numbers to the many guests — obviously breaking both goals set in the bets with over $600,000 raised.

2013 Campaign Chair and board vice president, Stephen Gerald, enjoys a fresh shave to settle his debt, as United Way supporters and members look on.
2013 Campaign Chair and board vice president, Stephen Gerald, enjoys a fresh shave to settle his debt, as United Way supporters and members look on.

He thanked the many committee volunteers and businesses that work so hard to carry out the many activities, while also offering them a reward.

He also had many kind and respectful words to say about United Way’s executive director, April Carl, who works so tirelessly everyday for UW, who received a standing ovation at the lunch.

While most everyone at the luncheon knew of Daus and Gerald’s bets, it was clear that both them would have some squaring up to do.

A barber was brought in, and to finalize this year’s Annual Meeting, one at a time, the two of them sat in a chair and had their hair completely shaved off.  Each of them looked nervous, however, they both said that it was for a great cause.

To learn more about United Way of Lamar County and find out how you can be a part in helping the lives of so many of those in need in Lamar County, click here to visit their website.

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