By Todd Cohen
Hurricane Floyd dealt a devastating blow to North Carolina last fall – but not enough to keep United Way affiliates in the state from raising record-high amounts of money in their annual campaigns.
The state’s 69 local affiliates raised $144 million in 1999, up nearly 7 percent from the $135 million they raised a year earlier, according to figures that the affiliates reported to the United Way of North Carolina.
“We had a great year,” says Jim Morrison, president of the United Way of North Carolina. “In the eastern part of the state we had a few that struggled because of the hurricane and even a few that exceeded goals. There was good news all around the state.”
Larger affiliates not only met their goals, he says, but many of them posted double-digit increases while also pitching in to help their counterparts in the eastern part of the state that were struggling to raise money in Floyd’s aftermath.
Among the results from local affiliates:
* In Charlotte, the United Way raised nearly $32.2 million, up more than 10 percent percent from a year earlier and exceeding its goal by $172,000.
* In the Triangle, the United Way raised more than $25 million, up 12 percent from a year earlier and more than $700,000 above its goal.
* In Forsyth County, the United Way raised $16.7 million, just exceeding its goal and posting a 10 percent increase over the previous year.
* In Greensboro, the United Way raised nearly $14.5 million, exceeding its goal by more than $15,000 and showing a 5.1 percent increase over the previous year.
* In Asheville and Buncombe County, the United Way raised $5.3 million, up 4 percent from a year earlier and just meeting its goal.
* In High Point, the United Way raised more than $4.4 million, up 16.1 percent from a year earlier and exceeding its goal by $233,000. That was the biggest one-year percentage increase among the state’s larger United Ways – those raising more than $4 million.
Forsyth’s United Way teamed up with the Cape Fear Area United Way in Wilmington, while Greensboro assisted Lenoir County, and High Point worked with Edgecombe County on their campaigns after the hurricane.
Assistance ranged from assigning loaned executives to providing technical expertise and money.
In eastern North Carolina:
* Cape Fear raised $2.89 million, up 10 percent from last year and exceeding its goal by $90,000.
* Wilson County raised $1.1 million, up 14 percent from last year and falling just $3,500 short of its goal.
* Wayne County raised $1.18 million, up 3.28 percent from last year and just beating its goal.
After the hurricane, the United Way of North Carolina also worked for free administering the special relief fund set up by Gov. Jim Hunt. Nearly 70,000 donors contributed almost $19 million to that fund.