United Way challenges community to join the fight to meet more needs

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The 2017 Loaned Executives and UWCA staff pose for a picture at the luncheon’s close. – Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama

Drew Langloh, President and CEO, United Way of Central Alabama  challenged more than 400 UW volunteers and donors attending United Way’s annual fundraising kickoff to help raise $38 million to meet the increasing community needs.

The funds raised during the campaign help support more than 80 UW Partner agencies and programs that help families gain financial stability; children achieve academic success; provide wellness services and gain overall access to essential services.

This year’s campaign message, UNITED WE FIGHT. UNITED WE WIN., speaks to the social service needs in Central Alabama and a desire to come together and help those individuals and families who have fallen on hard times. The powerful statement motivates individuals to look beyond the differences and rally around shared experiences and commonalities.

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Drew Langloh, President and CEO of United Way of Central Alabama gives a speech during the Sept. 7th event at the BJCC Ballroom – Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama

“This goal won’t be easy to raise,” Langloh told an audience of volunteers and company campaign coordinators. “To raise this kind of money, you have to be passionate. When you understand that passion, you understand that you’re fighting for those who don’t have a voice.”

Scott McGlaun, Chief Information Officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and Pacesetter Campaign chair, announced the results of the Pacesetter (summer) Campaign. McGlaun and his team of loaned executives and campaign volunteers along with more than 50 corporations, businesses, hospitals and non-profits exceeded their campaign goal and raised $12,805,508.  Those pledges will put United Way over one-third of the way toward meeting its goal.

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Scott McGlaun, Chief Information Officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and Pacesetter Campaign chair, announces the Pacesetter (summer campaign) results of $12,805,508 – Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama

Mallory Weggemann, 2012 Paralympic Gold Medalist, headlined the event. Weggemann has overcome all odds to become a champion, in and out of the swimming pool. Paralyzed by a seemingly routine epidural injection as a college freshman, she broke her first set of world records less than sixteen months later.

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Guest speaker and 2012 Paralympic Gold Medalist Mallory Weggemann headlined the event – Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama

Comparing her paralysis to the job of fundraising, Weggermann said, “Sometimes we have to be willing to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Sometimes we have to put ourselves out there even when it’s the most terrifying thing we can do. The beautiful part of fear is when we confront it, we often find something far more beautiful than we could’ve ever imagined waiting on the other side.”

United Way of Central Alabama serves Jefferson, Shelby, Walker, Blount and St. Clair counties by providing solutions for the most important needs in the community. Through our partner agencies and community initiatives, we improve lives and community conditions by building and mobilizing resources. United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community.  For more information visit www.uwca.org 

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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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