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Kicking Off the 2018 Annual Campaign

By Doug Hensley, 2018 Campaign Chair

What a great kickoff event we enjoyed!

We had a sold-out crowd of some 800 people in the Civic Center and Mayor Dan Pope as the keynote speaker for this year’s Campaign Kickoff. To say the event was a success is a dramatic understatement. Everything went great, and we have a lot to celebrate as we work together this fall to raise this year’s goal of $5,935,151.

First, my thanks to Mayor Pope for his powerful message and his challenge for all of us to become “experts in the business of hope.” I was so thankful when Mayor Pope accepted our invitation to speak at this year’s event because of his passion for the United Way and for this community. I appreciate his word and his reminder that while we have challenges as a community, we have a lot to be thankful for.

I also want to thank Matt Ernst of Fox34 for agreeing to serve as chair of the Jumpstart division this year. Because of the leadership of him and his team, the eight companies that participated in Jumpstart this year raised more than $1 million, right at 20 percent of this year’s goal, getting us off to a terrific start. Thank you, Matt, for the hard work and best of luck as Loaned Executive Division chair next year.

It was exciting to hear about the “United We Read” initiative that will take place Sept. 20. I hope you have already heard about this endeavor where hundreds of volunteers will be inside local schools reading to second-grade classes. You can still sign up to be a part of this by going to the Lubbock Area United Way website.

We unveiled this year’s campaign video, and I want to thank Meredith Imes from Texas Tech University for her leadership on this as well as the extremely talented Gary Bain from G-Man Creative, who once again provided his creativity in helping craft not just this video but other components that will spool out to the public over the course of the campaign.

I want to thank my campaign vice chairs, who will do a lot of the heavy lifting this year as more than 800 volunteers work together on helping us reach (I mean, exceed) this year’s goal. They are Shannon Elrod, United Supermarkets, Corporate Chair; A.J. Martinez, Robinson, Burdette, Martin and Seright, Leadership Giving Chair; Rob and Amber Dean, City Bank, LIVE UNITED Golf Tournament Chairs; Kelsey Tubb, City Bank, Loaned Executive Chair; Dr. Kathy Rollo, Lubbock ISD, Local Government Chair; Meredith Imes, Texas Tech University, Marketing Chair; Andrew Curtis, Craig, Terrell, Hale and Grantham, Professional Chair; Bill Tarro and Kelley Lewis, Lubbock ISD, Special Gift Co-Chairs; and Darcy Pollock, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, State Employee Charitable Campaign Chair.

If you couldn’t make it to the kickoff event, please make plans to join us for our next major event – the Mid-Campaign Report on Oct. 18 at the Civic Center. Also, make sure you have the Victory Report Luncheon on your calendars. It’s set for noon Nov. 27 at the Civic Center.