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Fundraising for the United Way exceeds $104,000

Campaign nets more than $104,000 for the United Way of Gaston County

“Show us the money!”  That’s exactly what Gaston County Schools employees, students, and parents did during the 2021-2022 academic year when it came to the annual fundraising campaign for the United Way of Gaston County.

The school district is a longtime and significant contributor to the local fundraising efforts that provide support for United Way programs in three areas: education, health, and financial stability.

The 2021-2022 total for Gaston County Schools (drum roll, please) is $104,418.81.

“The amount is very impressive and certainly exceeds our expectations,” stated Superintendent of Schools W. Jeffrey Booker.  “Traditionally, our fundraising total has been in the $100,000 range, and it is great to see that we went above and beyond this school year to help fund important programs right here in our community.”

Dr. Booker added, “We want to thank each person who contributed to our fundraising campaign for the United Way.  Regardless of whether you gave $10 or $100, you gave what you could, and we are most appreciative.  We know that every dollar counts, and when our schools and central level departments come together to support a common cause, we always have positive results.  Without question, raising more than $104,000 is very positive.”

Leading the way in fundraising for 2021-2022 was Southwest Middle School, Hunter Huss High School, and Forestview High School.  All three schools contributed more than $5,000 each.

Here is a look at the top 10 fundraising schools:

  1. Southwest Middle School (principal Cindy Hester, school coordinator)
  2. Hunter Huss High School (assistant principal William Winston, school coordinator)
  3. Forestview High School (assistant principal James Hilburn, school coordinator)
  4. Cramerton Middle School (assistant principal Beth Crosby, school coordinator)
  5. New Hope Elementary School (principal Lynn Whiteside, school coordinator)
  6. Chapel Grove Elementary School (principal Mitch Allen, school coordinator)
  7. H.H. Beam Elementary School (assistant principal Deon Kennedy, school coordinator)
  8. Grier Middle School (assistant principal Donovan Kent, school coordinator)
  9. Bessemer City High School (principal Sheila Wyont, school coordinator)
  10. Lowell Elementary School (teachers Paris Suttenfield and Emily Morton, school coordinators)

Thirty-five schools had an increase in giving when compared to last year.  New Hope Elementary and H.H. Beam Elementary had the most significant increases in giving.  

The central level departments contributed nearly $15,000, which was an increase of about $2,000 when compared to 2020-2021.  The top central level departments in fundraising were the Superintendent’s Office (which includes Accountability and Communications), Academic Services, Finance, and Technology Support Services. 

The 2021-2022 campaign netted about $11,000 more than the previous year.  While the pandemic made money tight and hindered the ability for schools to conduct typical fundraising activities, the district still managed to raise more than $93,000 in 2020-2021.  Most impressive, the $93,000 figure was off by only about $600 from the $94,000 total raised in 2019-2020 before the pandemic hit.

Dr. Booker concluded: “Our schools and central level departments have been consistent in making the United Way of Gaston County a fundraising priority, even during a global pandemic.  We are grateful for the contributions, and we want to commend our campaign coordinators, who invested much time and energy in promoting our campaign, collecting the funds, and providing them to the United Way.  We are hoping to have another successful fundraising campaign this fall.”

The school district’s United Way campaign is coordinated by the Communications Department/Office of Business Partnerships in cooperation with the 56 schools and various central office departments.  Valerie Yatko, director of business and community partnerships, is the lead coordinator.  Typically, funds for the United Way are collected each year in October/November.

Click here to visit the United Way of Gaston County website to learn about how funds are used locally to build a stronger community and improve people’s lives in the areas of education, health, and financial stability.