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United Way sets another modest campaign goal

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/09/02/17/22/zqVou.Em.138.jpeg|246
    JEFF WILLHELM - jwilhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    Miss Chiquita, retiring United Way Executive Director Jane McIntyre, and Homer kick off the annual fundraising campaign for the United Way of Central Carolinas.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/09/02/17/22/paQhe.Em.138.jpeg|219
    JEFF WILLHELM - jwilhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    Chiquita Executive Vice President Manuel Rodriguez, from left, United Way campaign Chairman Adam Orvos, and United Way retiring Executive Director Jane McIntyre hold a check for $150,000 to kick off the United Way’s 2014 campaign.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/09/02/17/22/Nd9GB.Em.138.jpeg|230
    JEFF WILLHELM - jwilhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    Retiring Executive Director Jane McIntyre throws the opening pitch at the kickoff of the 2014 United Way of Central Carolinas fundraising campaign at Romare Bearden Park in Charlotte on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/09/02/17/22/10BCQh.Em.138.jpeg|233
    JEFF WILLHELM - jwilhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    United Way of the Central Carolinas campaign chairpersons and partner agencies hold up this year’s goal, $21.6 million at the campaign kickoff at Romare Bearden Park in Charlotte on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/09/02/17/23/CxOgw.Em.138.jpeg|210
    JEFF WILLHELM - jwilhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    Chiquita is a big sponsor of this year’s United Way of Central Carolinas fundraising campaign, heading up the drive with $150,000 and free bananas for everyone in the audience.

More Information


Hoping to keep its three-year winning streak going, Charlotte’s United Way again set a conservative campaign goal, looking to raise $200,000 more than its 2013 goal.

The new goal, $21.6 million, is just 1 percent more than last year.

Chiquita kicked off the campaign announcement Tuesday by contributing $150,000 from the Chiquita Classic, $50,000 more than the golf tournament contributed last year to the kickoff.

Ed Lonergan, CEO of Chiquita, said the increase underscores his company’s belief in “United Way’s work to address homelessness, graduation rates and other critical issues.”

The Chiquita Classic will be held at River Run Country Club in Davidson Thursday through Sunday. This is the second year the tournament made United Way its lead beneficiary, offering 100 percent of ticket sales to United Way or other nonprofits.

The 2014 campaign also got early help from a donation of $20,549, given by a Korean church, Lake Norman Presbyterian Church, that closed its doors earlier this year, officials said.

“Church leaders asked the congregation to make one last significant donation, and they chose United Way,” said William Norton, spokesman for United Way.

“We had no idea they had chosen to do this. Out of the blue, Grandmaster Ju Hun Kim, representing the church, walked into United Way’s headquarters...and gave us a check for $20,549.24. United Way had helped the Kim family in the 1970s, and the Kims’ church decided to pay it forward.”

This year marks the final campaign for current United Way Executive Director Jane McIntyre, who announced she will retire once the campaign is finished. It typically concludes around Valentine’s Day.

The 2014 campaign raised $17 million for the agency’s 82 partner charities, including an extra $500,000 that was taken from United Way’s reserve fund. The money from reserves allowed the agency to increase grants to its partner charities for the first time since 2010.

Since 2009 – when the recession kicked in – United Way has set only modest goals for its campaigns and has managed to meet those goals in four of five years. It fell short in 2010.

In 2013, the agency gave out $3 million more than it did in 2009, when the campaign suffered a steep drop due to the recession.

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