Catawba County United Way celebrates power of giving

By John Bailey

While the pandemic has changed how we gather and meet, it didn’t stop the Catawba County United Way (CCUW) from hosting its annual Spirit of Giving Awards on Sept. 30.

The CCUW staff decided to go virtual and recognized the top company and school community giving campaigns in the county for 2019. The event is a way to celebrate the generosity of neighbors helping neighbors.

Last year, United Way donors raised more than $1.4 million and impacted the lives of nearly 40,000 individuals in Catawba County. 

Catawba County Government Campaign
Campaign events like Pie in the Face helped Catawba County Government grab the top spot in the 1,000-plus employees category for the 2019 Catawba County United Way workforce campaigns.

Their support of the United Way helped children achieve their educational potential, helped families achieve financial stability and helped improve peoples' health.

2019 top company community giving campaigns were:

  • 1,000-plus employees: Catawba County Government
  • 500-999 employees: Shurtape Technologies
  • 200-499 employees: Hickory Chair
  • 100-199 employees: Publix – Lake Hickory
  • Less than 100 employees: Carolina Insurance

The annual Community Chest award went to Century Furniture. The criteria for this award include year-round involvement in the community in coordination with United Way, volunteer activities, participation in United Way events, examples of best practices and public support of the United Way impact areas.

2019 top school campaigns were:

Elementary School: Conover School

Middle School: Newton-Conover

High School: Catawba Rosenwald

Individual awards were presented to three individuals, recognizing their legacy with the Catawba County United Way.

The A. Alex Shuford Jr. Award went to Bernie Whitmer.

The Mrs. G. Earl Davis Award went to Ann Peele.

The Adrian Shuford Award went to Larry Aiello.

Special speakers at the event included Catawba County Manager Mick Berry and 2020 CCUW Campaign Chair and Catawba Valley Health System President/CEO Eddie Beard.

Presenters included CCUW Executive Director Jennie Connor, CCUW Board President and Catawba Valley Community College Executive Vice President Keith Mackie and CCUW Board Vice President and RHF/Century Furniture Vice President Human Resources Amy Guyer.

Testimonials were giving by clients from Sipe’s Orchard Home, Exodus Homes and DSS Senior Nutrition Services.

The Hickory High marching band’s drumline provided the musical opener to the event. The entire event can be viewed on the Catawba County United Way's Facebook page.

To learn more about joining this year’s Catawba County United Way’s campaign, visit or call 828-327-6851.