United Way honors its volunteers

Published 10:33 am Friday, February 14, 2014

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Volunteers of the United Way were in the spotlight Thursday night as the organization had its annual banquet.
The West Central Mississippi chapter’s annual get-together concluded the 2013 campaign that raises money for local nonprofits.
Though the organization fell short of their $1.5 million fundraising goal this year, outgoing executive director Barbara Tolliver said the campaign was still successful.
“We did exceptionally well in tough times,” she said. “I was very pleased.”
Rich Feibelman, who along with his wife, Katie, chaired United Way’s 2013 campaign, “Let’s Take it to the Next Level,” challenged audience members to become more involved for the 2014 campaign
“Are you going to give, advocate or volunteer,” he asked. “How about doing more than you did last year?”
United Way board chairman Retired Brigadier General Robert Crear presented the Feibelman’s with a plaque honoring their work this year.
Launo Moore, who chairs the special gifts committee, was selected as the 2014 Volunteer of the Year.
“Launo Moore has been perhaps one of the most enthusiastic volunteers we have ever had,” said Barbara Tolliver, executive director of the United Way. “She took our campaign to the next level … Her division saw a 26 percent increase in giving this year.”
Audrey Sylvester, assistant vice president and branch manager for Trustmark’s Battlefield Office, was named the campaign coordinator of the year.
Rich Feibelman highlighted a boost in giving from Sylvester’s branch.
“Audrey was successfully able to run her company’s campaign,” Feibelman said. “Even though she was challenged to run the campaign with new software, she was still able to rally her company to increase their giving by 25 percent.”
Vicksburg High School’s Murshiva Harris and Warren Central High School’s Meghan Bunch received the Bruce Alan Ebersole Jr. Memorial Scholarship.
“This scholarship is awarded annually to a high school senior who embraces the concept of community service,” Crear said.
Crear later recognized retiring United Way directors Angela Brown, Lauren Cappaert, Patricia Hemphill, Linda Sweezer, Barbara Hickman, Stephen McMillin, Leslie Murrell, Tom Kendall and Dennis Wiles.
Directors for the next three years will be Brian Boykins, Heather Butler, Lori Burke, Susie Calbert, John Elfer, Amy Haygood, Pam Pugh and Jeff Schumacher.
Others receiving awards were:
• River Region Medical Center, Traveling Leadership Award.
• Ryan Lee, Donor Investment Chair Award
• Karen Frederick, Donor Investment Volunteer of the Year
• Emma Adams, Agency Director of the Year
• Entergy Grand Gulf, Spirit of Vicksburg Award
• May and Company, Corporation of the Year Award