By Todd Cohen
SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — Aiming to recruit more small businesses and gifts of $1,000 or more from individuals, United Way of Moore County has set a goal of $650,000 for its annual fund drive this year, up $20,000 from the total raised last year.
The drive already has raised roughly 20 percent of its goal through 11 early “pacesetter” campaigns, some of which still are underway.
Pacesetters, which have a goal of $65,000, up from $57,000 last year, already had raised nearly $20,000 at the kickoff, up from nearly $10,000 at the same date last year.
Kicking off September 7 in the cafeteria at Southern Pines Elementary School, the drive will include visits by loaned executives and by business and professional volunteers to local employers.
Before making their first deliveries of the day, for example, drivers at the UPS operation in Southern Pines received a 4:15 a.m. visit from Linda Pearson, United Way executive director, along with Gerald Galloway, board chair and police chief of the town of Southern Pines, and Ken Cormier, co-chair of the drive and chief operating officer of St. Joseph’s of the Pines.
“We want to talk to everybody,” Pearson says.
The drive aims to raise $105,000 in gifts of $1,000 or more, up from $101,577 last year, when those gifts fell $14,500 short of their goal.
Holding a workplace campaign for the first time will be Wal-Mart, with more than 470 employees, while Kolcraft Enterprises, with about 100 employees, will hold a campaign after a lapse of several years, both in Aberdeen.
Pearson says she hopes during the drive to sponsor a “day of caring” during which volunteers will work at United Way agencies.
The other co-chair drive is Brenda Hiscott, a mortgage banker in the Pinehurst office of Countrywide Home Loans in Van Nuys, Calif.