Even though it has just finished its 2003 campaign, the United Way of Lincoln County has already set its focus on the future.
“I think we have untapped potential in this community,” said Brad Guth, the organizationâ€™s new president.
The United Way of Lincoln County had a landmark year. Participants raised $460,000, which is $10,000 over their goal.
The goal for next year has already been set at an ambitious $500,000.
“That will enable us to fund all our agencies 100 percent, so weâ€™ wonâ€™t have anyone aggravated,” said Dean Lutz, the new campaign chair, at an awards luncheon on Wednesday.
“I know we can attain this goal because you are great people and great people can do great things.”
Jim Morrison, president of United Way of North Carolina, visited Lincoln County to congratulate participants on their achievement.
Morrison said he saw a beautiful sight when driving in downtown Lincolnton.
“I saw the thermometer at 100 percent,” said Morrison.
The United Way thermometer indicated that Lincoln County had achieved its goal. Only eight United Ways out of the 60 that have recorded their results can say the same.
“Youâ€™re among a very select group of United Ways in North Carolina,” Morrison said. “You invest in Lincoln County through this United Way to really make a difference.”
One individual who has been making a difference through the United Way for over 30 years received a special award on Wednesday.
Elliot Beal was the first to receive the Elliot Beal award, which recognizes outstanding volunteerism. The award will be given out every year.
Beal was surprised by the new award in the middle of the luncheon. He received a standing ovation.
“Iâ€™ve always volunteered in a variety of ways in Lincoln County, ever since 1951,” Beal said. “You just have to give something back to the community.”
United Way organizers had nothing but kind words for Beal.
“Heâ€™s a low key individual, but heâ€™s very persistent,” said Brad Guth. “Heâ€™s certainly dedicated. If youâ€™re giving of your time for that period of time, youâ€™ve got to be dedicated.”
Guth was also acknowledged during the luncheon as the new campaign president.
He replaces Seth Haney.
“If I can do only half as well as Seth has done next year, United Way will be in good shape,” said Guth.by Sarah Grano