United Way Honors Community Leaders and Donors

Honoring individuals and organizations of the Roanoke Valley who dedicate their time, effort, and finances to help others was the goal of Thursday’s event hosted by United Way of Roanoke Valley.

More than 250 representatives from local companies, nonprofits, school districts, and government agencies gathered to recognize these contributors at the Annual Award Celebration held at the Taubman Museum of Art. Jenna Zibton, morning news anchor for WSLS 10 Today, hosted the event.

United Way of Roanoke Valley attributed much of last year’s success to its 125 collaborative community partners, 719 volunteers, 8,384 donors, 207 workforce partners and 25 granting partners to advance the common good in the Roanoke Valley.

“Thousands of families in our community depend on health and human service programs to maintain a reasonable quality of life, and it is our goal to work collaboratively and mobilize local resources to meet community needs,” said Susan Campbell, Board Chair of United Way of Roanoke Valley.

With support from the community, United Way of Roanoke Valley helped impact the lives of nearly 30,000 people across the Roanoke Valley last year by sending children to quality, affordable childcare programs; building knowledge and skills for employment; and helping to provide access to affordable healthcare services that families so desperately need.

One of the event’s biggest award winners was UPS, which earned this year’s Spirit of the Community Award, United Way’s top corporate award, honoring companies who exhibit outstanding year-round support. As a long-standing partner, UPS has demonstrated their generosity through employee volunteerism, financial contribution, and leadership within the Roanoke Valley.

In addition to the annual awards, Afira DeVries, President and CEO of United Way of Roanoke Valley gave a preview of the new strategic plan to “elevate 10,000 families to self-sufficiency by 2030” through a cradle to career continuum of supports that would help the next generation break out of the cycle of poverty.

Full list of award winners:

• Impact Fund Award: Altec
• Shining Star Award: Children’s Trust
• ECM Hall of Fame: Joe Jones & Janet Holdren, Appalachian Power Company
• Personal Touch Award: John Cosner, Tecton
• Jean A. Glontz Leadership from Student United Way: Patrick Croke
• Leader of the Year: Brad Kerchof, Norfolk Southern Corporation
• ECM of the Year: Amber Cannaday & Christina Rockefeller, Harris Corporation
• Campaign Chair Award: Roanoke Times, Eaton, Gentry Locke
• Spirit of the Community Award: United Parcel Service