United Way of Greenville County celebrated a century of service and the impact made possible by the generosity of United Way supporters during the organization’s 2023 Stronger United Awards Celebration held Thursday, March 2, at the Greenville Convention Center.
More than 700 people attended the event that honored United Way’s history as well as the public entities, private partners, donors, corporations, activists and volunteers who make United Way’s work possible. In 2022, United Way invested $12 million in the community through grants, direct services and strategic programs—serving more than 42,000 people in Greenville County.
“Together, we have made an incredible impact on the lives of generations of Greenville County residents, and today was a celebration of the generosity and love this community has shown this organization over the last 100 years,” said United Way of Greenville County President and CEO Meghan Barp. “I promise you that we will not rest on our legacy or become complacent. We will continue working tirelessly to ensure a better future for those who need us most.”
Among the award winners were two United Way Spirit Award recipients. Soteria CDC’s Jerry Blassingame received the award for his decades of work helping men and women who were formerly incarcerated by providing housing, education, employment, affirmation and advocacy services. The second honoree was former Governor of South Carolina and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley whose dedication to improving education for all has made a lasting impact in our community, state and nation.
Speakers and award presenters included: 2022 United Way Board Chair and Table 301 founder Carl Sobocinski; 2023 Board Chair and 2022 Campaign Chair, CareMore Health’s Dr. Saria Sacocio; 2023 Board Vice Chair, Baynes-Dunning Consulting’s Dr. Karen Baynes-Dunning; 2023 Community Impact Chair, United Community Bank’s Moryah Jackson; 2023 Board Secretary, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System’s Pastor Sean Dogan; and 2023 board member, Southern First Bank’s Cal Hurst, serving as host.
More than 600 local companies ran United Way workplace campaigns in 2022, and United Way presented campaign awards across a number of categories. The recognitions included:
- The Campaign Award of Excellence to 119 organizations.
- The Chairman’s Award to 48 organizations.
- The Premier Award to six organizations for running their first United Way campaign.
- The Advancement Award to 64 organizations for a 25 percent increase in dollars raised and participation.
- The Top 10 Award to Michelin North America, Prisma Health, Greenville County Schools, GE, Publix Super Markets, ITW Hartness, Fluor, Mitsubishi Chemical America, Canal Insurance Company and TD Bank. Michelin was recognized as the top overall campaign for the third consecutive year.
- The Above and Beyond Corporate Campaign Award to Elliott Davis for their continued engagement through campaign events and volunteerism.
- The Most Engaged Corporate Leader Award to Crawford’s Marion Crawford for her support of United Way education programs.
- The Most Creative Event Award to GE for their kickball, volleyball, golf, trivia and poker tournaments, as well as a BBQ luncheon and Brewhaha finale.
- The Outstanding Campaign Coordinator Award to Wade Hampton High School’s Susan Wines, whose dedication led to a doubling of the school’s total dollars raised.
- The United Way Spirit Award to Soteria CDC’s Jerry Blassingame and former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley.
The 2023 Stronger United Awards Celebration was sponsored by Balloons & Monograms, Community Journals, Fluor, Forge Search + Consulting, Publix Super Markets and Southern First Bank.