United Way in Elizabethton/Carter Co. reaches fundraising goal for first time in more than decade

John Thompson • Apr 10, 2013 at 4:39 PM

ELIZABETHTON — For the first time in 12 years, the Elizabethton/Carter County United Way has reached its goal.

"I am very proud," United Way Chairman Chris Mathes said during a press conference at Milligan College on Wednesday afternoon.

The initial goal for the year was $182,000. After Community Day Care and Learning Center closed earlier this year, the goal was reset at $145,297 to support the remaining organizations.

Mathes, the sheriff of Carter County, said there were several highly successful fundraisers during the campaign. One of the most successful was a fundraiser at the new jail before it was opened. He said more than 2,000 visitors came to look at the new jail.

Other successful fundraisers were the Christmas in August event and the celebrity bagging event sponsored by Food City.

Mathes praised this year's campaign chairman, Bill Greer, president of Milligan College. Mathes said Greer's efforts in the kick off campaign got things moving in the right direction. He said the kickoff raised 10 percent of the goal.

"Milligan College is very proud to be a part of Carter County," Greer said. He said he has experience in fundraising as a the head of a private college. He said he is a believer in getting off to a strong start in the kickoff and hopes that in the future the percentage of the goal raised at the start of the campaign will be even larger.

Greer said he hopes the fund will keep growing and more Carter County agencies will be identified inn the future to be supported by the United Way.

Mathes said the United Way supports the Adult Day Service, the American Red Cross, Assistance and Resource Ministries, the Boys and Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County, Contact Ministries, the Elizabethton Neighborhood Service Center, the Elizabethton Senior Citizens Center, and the Sequoyah Council of the Boy Scouts. He said the agency also supported the Community Day Care and Learning Center until it closed earlier this year.

Mathes said he will be stepping down as chairman but will remain a member of the board of the United Way of Elizabethton/Carter County. He introduced Candy Craig as the new chairwoman.

Craig said she was excited to be the new chairwoman. She said she believed that the non profit agencies and volunteers "are the heart of Carter County."

Craig said the chairman for next year's campaign has already been selected, but she said he won't be revealed until later.

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