United Way hosts 2022 Annual Meeting & Thank You Banquet honoring donors, volunteers

More than 1 million dollars raised between 2021-22 to support local health, education, economic mobility programs
HATTIESBURG, MISS. – United Way of Southeast Mississippi celebrated the work of its partner agencies and recognized donors and volunteers April 19, 2022, at its first Annual Meeting & Thank You Banquet since before the pandemic, held at Southern Oaks House and Gardens in Hattiesburg. 

The event was held in honor of local corporate and individual donors that contributed through United Way Workplace Campaigns and fundraising events this past year as well as a significant anonymous donation. Overall, the organization collected and raised $1,296,105 to support its 14 nonprofit partners. 

Additionally, Campaign Pacesetter companies were recognized for setting fundraising goals and completing successful United Way Campaigns at the top of last year’s campaign season. Some of those included Anderson Design Center, The Area Development Partnership, BancorpSouth, Citizens National Bank, Forrest General Hospital, Hancock Whitney, Hattiesburg Clinic, Hood Industries, Mississippi Power, Regions and The First Bank. 

Altogether, those companies raised $400,563. Special awards were also given out, including the Platinum Award to Citizens National Bank; and the Gold Award to several other local businesses. 

Other special awards included Campaign Coordinator of the Year to Bill Dyer with Hood Industries; Volunteer of the Year to Carolyn Rothery of Hattiesburg; and the Spirit of United Way Award to longtime Board of Directors member Allen Anderson, owner of Anderson Design Center in Hattiesburg. 

In addition to the awards ceremony, officials highlighted the impact of United Way’s work in the community through its nonprofit partner agencies over the past two years. Especially noted was United Way’s establishment of the COVID-19 Relief Fund in 2020 and the ongoing ALICE Report to shed light on financial hardship in Mississippi.

“As we end one year and begin another, we express our deep appreciation to all of our volunteers, donors and advocates. Each of you are why United Way is seen as a beacon of trust and support throughout our community,” Chase Blankenship, 2022-23 United Way Board Chair, told the crowd during the event. “We all win by Living United. By finding new solutions to old problems and by inspiring individuals, like all of you, to join the fight against our area's most critical problems.”

The event was sponsored by Hancock Whitney, Hattiesburg Clinic, Mississippi Power and The First Bank.

To learn more about the work of United Way or how you can get involved, visit unitedwaysems.org.