United Way staff celebrates the first campaign of the year in song with $152,902

Flashing back with outrageous style from the 1960s and 1970s for a great cause: (From left) Milton Todd, Lynn Smith, Vickie Terry and Bryce Haugsdahl

The staff of United Way of the Mid-South always hold the first fundraising campaign of the year within the organization itself. Late last month the tradition continued as United Way employees held the “in-house campaign” with fun, music, information and energy.

When the speeches were over, the costumes put away and the last notes from the music faded, the generous results sang volumes about the love our 48-member staff has for the organization and the entire Mid-South community: $152,902 was raised to support United Way’s work to improve education, financial stability and health.

United Way President Bryce Haugsdahl congratulated staff on the tremendous support with a recap message to all employees earlier this week:

It was a “rhythm of giving” to the tune of $152,902 for United Way of the Mid-South staff during a “soulful” 2012 In-House Campaign.  The festivities were hosted by the Administration and Fundraising departments.

The United Way All-Stars included (from left) Bryce Haugsdahl, Barbara Butler, Orisha Henry-Bowers, Paul Smothers, Cheryll Pegues and Nakisha Coffey.

This year’s campaign featured games, an in-house auction and a talent show where staff dressed up as soul icons from the 1970s.  United Way staff also visited the Memphis Stax Museum and learned how youth in the recording company’s South Memphis neighborhood are receiving the help and a quality education to be more successful in school and life.

United Way staff once again shared their talents as musical performances showcased the songwriting, singing and production skills of Paul Smothers; Orisha Bowers; Nakisha Coffey; Barbara Butler; Cheryll Pegues and special guest C. J. Terry on drums. (Editor’s Note: Haugsdahl also joined the group dressed as Elvis and playing a guitar).

There were also musical numbers from volunteers in our community as Herman Strickland from First Tennessee reprised his popular Stevie Wonder performance and our friends John Grice, Robert McClatchey, Wayne Parks, Doc Parsons and Eric Turner from Smith & Nephew performed as The Sensations.

General Campaign Chairman Joe DiNicolantonio and United Way Board Chairman Martha Perine Beard were also on hand to participate in the fun and speak about the importance of supporting United Way.

“We tried to show the staff and our volunteers that we celebrate the spirit of giving within our organization,” Todd said. “It was very successful and fun for everybody. The music was great, the tours were informative and we had great participation.”

Todd also recognized the hard work of the United Way In-House committee made up of employees primarily from the fundraising and administration departments. Their efforts helped make the campaign a success again this year. “A special thanks goes out to Rosa Potts, committee vice-chair and Loretta Hurt for working with the staff campaign committee!” Todd said.

Personally, as I reflect on the events and the long hours of work that many put into the event to make it the “record shattering” success that it was, I am “rocked to the heart of my soul.”  Congratulations to all for making this year’s Rhythm of Giving campaign an outstanding success!

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