Dedication, Passion, Leadership: United Way highlights hard work of volunteers

Published 3:11 pm Thursday, February 23, 2023

The United Way of West Central Mississippi (UWWCM) held its annual meeting on Thursday.

Leadership changes were announced and a number of awards were given to recognize volunteers and United Way staff for their hard work.

The event, held at Levee Street Warehouse in downtown Vicksburg, was kicked off with an introduction of the UWWCM Executive Director, Michele Connelly, who spoke about her gratitude for those who are working to better the community they live in.

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“The people who make up our community continue to inspire me daily to move forward in a way that not only allows me to embrace hope but inspires me to take action,” she said. “Today, I want each of you to reflect upon the great works of our community — and then walk away inspired to continue reaching for those stars, to challenge you to continue rolling up your sleeves.”

Connelly also introduced the 2022 UWWCM Board Chair, Lynn Foley, who held back tears as she thanked her colleagues, telling them that it has been an honor and a privilege to work with them.

She also listed just a few of the achievements the organization accomplished during the past year, including the implementation of a literacy intervention program supported by the City of Vicksburg and the Warren County Board of Supervisors, as well as a program sponsored by Ergon that gives every third-grader a new book every quarter.

“The list goes on and on,” Foley said. “In my year as Board Chair, I feel confident in saying that I — no, we — accomplished our goals set forth a year ago.”

Foley also recognized the new Board Chair for 2023.

“I’m excited and looking forward to our new Board Chair, Jennifer Grey, and her Board of Directors continuing the legacy of improving the quality of life for our community,” she said.

Grey spoke last at the ceremony, remarking on her belief that the UWWMC is a force for good in the community that will continue to overcome obstacles in pursuit of its mission.

“Despite all the challenges we faced as individuals, families, businesses and a community, the staff and Board continued to meet the continuous demands of those in need in our service area,” Grey said.

Grey also recognized Foley for her work as the previous chair.

“Lynn, I am in constant awe of your dedication, passion and leadership of this organization,” Grey said. “And I only hope I can continue what you and others have started with the same dedication, passion and leadership that you have exhibited.”