United Way of the Greater Clarksville Region stepped up to the plate to lead off this year’s fundraising efforts at a campaign season opener on September 9th. Driving home the LIVE UNITED message with a softball game and spirited fare at Mericourt Park, the event inspired collective efforts to pitch in support for those who need it most. Ginna Holleman, local United Way CEO, welcomed the crowd with motivating words from renowned author and poet Maya Angelou who commented, “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands, you need to be able to throw something back.”
In a pre-game pep talk, Board President Jim Sumrell championed those looking to make a lasting change in the Clarksville region. “I believe that United Way best allows the citizens of this community to contribute to agencies that will keep our charitable contributions local and positively affect the lives of our fellow citizens,” Sumrell said.
Don Shrader, 2013-2014 Campaign Chair, threw out the game’s first pitch while a crowd of advocates cheered on the Give and Volunteer teams. A line-up of most valuable players represented United Way contributors, volunteers and partner agency representatives. Shrader coached the community to rewrite someone’s story by giving through United Way. “All of us working together can make a greater impact on the lives of those that need our support. We can accomplish more as a team than we can individually. This is what it means to LIVE UNITED. I look forward to a successful year for United Way and thank you for your investments that will truly score great potential for our community.”
United Way team captains took centerfield to reveal this year’s fundraising goal of $1,000,000. Holleman explained that the goal is determined by evaluating the funds needed to fully support agency programs and the impact they strive to achieve. Last year’s giving campaign raised approximately $925,000, a 23% increase over the previous year’s total of $753,000. “This goal is challenging, but represents real need in the community,” said Holleman. “I have confidence that together we can knock it out of the park! We all win when a child succeeds in school…when a disabled, abused or struggling individual is given dignity and quality of life…when families earn enough income to support themselves independently. We ask you to help us write their stories with hope and opportunity as we seek to cover the bases of impact in Education, Health and Income.”