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United Way of Florence County Holds Annual Campaign Luncheon

The United Way of Florence County (UWFC) celebrated the culmination of their 2015-2016 campaign with a luncheon at the SiMT Center on Thursday, April 28th. Each year, the UWFC holds an eight-month long campaign to raise donations for the UWFC’s partnering agencies. The Annual Luncheon is held at the end of each campaign to thank all the companies, sponsors, and volunteers who contribute and make the campaign possible.

The theme of this year’s campaign was “You’re in the Driver’s Seat” and the SiMT Center conference room was completely transformed with a variety of car-themed décor to match the theme. One of the biggest pieces of décor on display was a new 2015 Ford Fiesta that will be given to one lucky UWFC donor to drive for a year through a partnership with Mike Reichenbach Ford Lincoln. Ten finalists will be drawn for the car giveaway and a fun and exciting finale event will held at Mike Reichenbach Ford Lincoln on Wednesday, May 11th to officially determine which lucky donor will be holding the winning key to drive away in the red Ford Fiesta.

Over thirty Florence County companies were recognized during the event for their contributions to the campaign. Among those recognized were First Reliance Bank, Pespi-Cola Bottling Co., and Johnson Controls Battery Recycling Center for being the Top Givers in the category levels of Bronze, Silver, and Gold. PGBA, LLC was awarded not only the Top Giver for the Platinum Level, but also the overall Top Giver for the campaign with a total contribution of $190,360. Other award winners included the Senior Citizens Association, Partner Agency Award; Carolinas Hospital System, Spirit Award; Florence School District One, Campaign Advancement Award; McLeod Health, Campaign All-Around Award; Assurant, LIVE UNITED Award and Ruiz Foods, Rising Star Award.

Along with the company awards, Board Chair Quincy Kennedy and Campaign Chair James Aikens were also recognized for service on the UWFC during the campaign. The last award of the event was the Ashpy P. Lowrimore Award which is one of the most prestigious honors given each year to an individual that demonstrates an exceptional level of support and service to the United Way and Florence County community. Lowrimore was a Florence banker who died in 2001.  Lowrimore was a dedicated, hardworking man who was community minded and gave back to the community in terms of talents and time. With Lowrimore’s legacy in mind, the UWFC Board elected to present the 2015 award to Mr. and Mrs. Hugh D. Aycock; who exemplifies everything that the late Ashpy P. Lowrimore stood for.  The Aycocks have a very strong business and community presence in the Florence area as well as being faithful and generous donors to the UWFC for the past 20 plus years. It was the first time in the history of the award that a husband and wife were honored together.

Following the end of the campaign, the United Way’s Community Investment Committee (CIC) will begin the process of deciding which local agency programs will be funded through the contributions made to the United Way campaign. Local agencies must complete an application and presentation process to the CIC for the programs they would like funded, and the CIC members then decide which programs they feel will best serve the Florence County community. A new campaign with a new theme will be started for the 2016-2017 year with the UWFC’s Day of Caring on Friday, September 16th.

To see photos from the luncheon, click here.

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