United Way celebrates impact of generosity on community
BY MEREDITH COLLINS
Statesville resident Mary Tomac Miller died on December 27, 2015. With no living relatives, Miller had researched how to make the most impact and decided to leave her entire estate to The United Way of Iredell County.
Miller’s CPA, Terry Cline, says so far the total amount given from the estate is $900,800. He said Miller was the beneficiary to her sister’s estate in Canada that has not been finalized from her death in 2007. He anticipates a significant donation to come to United Way from that estate also.
This announcement from Cline was part of the United Way Night of Celebrations at Green Gables Farm. United Way supporters and agencies celebrated the success and impact the United Way of Iredell County has made in the community over the last year. They also celebrated the future success to come made possible by Miller’s donation.
“We are so excited about the opportunity this huge gift brings, but we also realize the tremendous responsibility it brings that we make the most of it,” said Brett Eckerman, United Way of Iredell County executive director. “It’s going to do a lot of good for a long time.”
The United Way Endowment for the Future was created in 2012 through a series of gifts from Frank and Linda Johnson. Other donors joined to create this fund as a “tool to enhance the long-term impact made possible through United Way.” Miller’s donation will go to this fund.
Agencies thanked United Way for their support. Representatives from agency partners like the Elder Center, Council on Aging, SCAN, Kidney Coalition, Boy Scouts of America, Hospice, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, told of how the donation from the United Way has enabled them to make a difference.
In addition to these agencies, United Way donated $94,000 to local food banks, had a successful Get Fit Iredell campaign and also got readers, tutors and mentors for after school programs, United Way of Iredell County President Richard Griggs said.
“We’re here to celebrate the impact of your generosity in our community,” Griggs said.
The United Way awarded a grant of $25,000 to Fifth Street Ministries for its veteran’s housing project.
“I’m overwhelmed at this generous gift,” Patti West, executive director of Fifth Street Ministries said.
Eckerman says the veteran’s housing project is directly aligned with United Way’s target focus.
Retired pediatrician Dr. Margaret Willhide received the Benefactor’s Club Award for her involvement in the community.
The United Way of Iredell County has big plans for the future and hopes to make an even larger impact in the community with the donations received.
“That level of generosity can trickle down and reach so many people over a long time,” Griggs said.