Battle of bands outcome reflects “live united” team spirit as AutoZone raises over $619,000 for United Way

Battling bands came together to celebrate AutoZone's fundraising effort for United Way of the Mid-South

AutoZone employees are a talented group, and the organization had a tough choice when it came to a recent “battle of the bands” contest.

Two bands made up of AutoZone employees competed against each other in an attempt to increase awareness about this year’s United Way of the Mid-South fundraising campaign. The problem was, Ronnie and the Zone Tones and Randy and his Rockers both captured enough votes to end with an even score! So, in the spirit of United Way’s “Live United” message, the bands came together for form a super group for AutoZone’s campaign finale event last week, entertaining the crowd with classic rock and soul tunes including “Last Dance With Mary Jane,” “Easy (Like Sunday Morning),” “Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay” and “China Grove.”

AutoZone CFO Bill Giles is also a key volunteer for United Way of the Mid-South, serving as a Board Member and on the United Way Finance Committee

AutoZone CFO Bill Giles said it was a tough battle for the two bands, calling it a “double knockout.” Giles is a member of the United Way Board of Directors and also serves on the United Way Finance Committee.

During the finale, Giles announced AutoZone’s campaign raised $619,659 for our local community, a generous 5% increase over last year’s impressive result.

“We had a great campaign and we had a lot of people really working hard. What is it that we always say? One out of three people in our community are impacted by United Way. If it isn’t you, it is most likely a friend, neighbor or family member…and you may not even know it, but a life has been touched by your contribution,” Giles said.

Giles cited some statistics in relation to AutoZone’s fundraising total this year, explaining the money raised by the organization’s employees could provide counseling and support to more than 1,450 children who have become victims of severe sexual or domestic abuse. It could provide free meals and shelter to more than 30,000 people who lose their home due to a fire or natural disaster.

Giles also noted that agency bus trips to United Way network partner agencies was impactful because AutoZoners were able to see first-hand how donations to nonprofits improves lives in our region.

Faye Carter, Bill Giles

United Way’s Senior Vice President of Fundraising, Faye Carter, thanked Giles for his volunteer service and lauded the company’s mission of “putting customers first,” explaining that the same care and dedication they show to their customers is felt by our entire community when AutoZoners give to United Way.

Carter also thanked AutoZone President and CEO Bill Rhodes for his generous giving and for allowing United Way to share information with employees.

“The numbers are remarkable,” she said to the cheering AutoZone crowd. “One of the reasons this campaign does exceedingly well is because of what happens at the top. I think you get it, because the executives get it.”

Carter thanked the AutoZone United Way Steering Committee, as well as Tracy Houston, this year’s campaign coordinator. She also thanked Trina Poquette and Ray Pollman, who have been instrumental in past United Way campaigns.

The 2011 AutoZone United Way Steering Committee was recognized by employees for their hard work during this year's fundraising drive

“When you improve lives, you provide a hand-up, not a hand-out. Because you care, people are given an opportunity to have hope and a purpose in life. Every living and breathing human being deserves hope and you are providing hope for people who are less fortunate or who cannot see their way. The impact of your caring is greater than you will ever know,” Carter said.

Each year AutoZone has a competition between floors in the building for an award called The Community Cup. AutoZoners earn points for their floor by donating at Leadership Giving levels ($500 or more) and participating in an agency tour. This year The Community Cup was awarded to Floor 2. Katie Massey proudly accepted the cup on behalf of her winning floor.

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