Marian headshot UW life.jpg

Marian Steele Clarke is president of the Board of Directors for the United Way of Iredell County.

United Way’s Million Dollar Challenge receives lead gift of $250,000

Posted at 12:45 PM on Mar 11, 2019


Special to

Statesville business woman Marian Steele Clark has partnered with her employer, JC Steele and Sons Inc., to donate $250,000 to the United Way of Iredell County’s Endowment for the Future, which provides a sustainable revenue source to fund transformational grants to local non-profit programs and services as well as provide immediate emergency or natural disaster relief for our community.

The United Way is currently engaged in a Million Dollar Challenge campaign to increase its endowment fund to drive community change and allow for new and innovative programs such as the Veteran’s House, Get Fit Iredell family wellness program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and the 2-1-1 Information and Referral service. The Million Dollar Challenge campaign inspires new endowment donors by providing a $1 million match from an anonymous donor with pledges of both immediate and estate gifts.

Barry and Anna Gordon are the campaign’s co-chairs. With Clark’s gift and the many other generous donors, the Million Dollar Challenge campaign is now over halfway to raising the $1.9 million needed to receive the matching gift.

Clark’s donation is the first endowment gift using United Way Life, an insurance product that allows younger donors to make legacy gifts that address the long-term needs of our community.

“United Way of Iredell County is a critical leader in addressing the most challenging conditions of our community,” Clark said. “I am proud to support United Way’s efforts for generations to come, knowing the lives of citizens in our community will be positively impacted by the innovation this endowment will generate.”

Clark is part of the fifth generation of the Steele family to serve in a leadership role within JC Steele and Sons and in the Statesville philanthropic community. She has been a longtime volunteer for United Way of Iredell County and currently serves as the president of the Board of Directors.

“Marian is a game-changer and forward-thinker who continues to lead the way with this gift,” said Brett Eckerman, executive director of United Way of Iredell County. “She understands how critical this endowment is to the longevity of organizations like United Way and the more than 90,000 local citizens we and our agency partners serve each year. We are so thankful for her generosity.”


To donate, volunteer or get more information, contact the United Way of Iredell County at 305 North Center Street, P.O. Box 1312, Statesville NC 28687; (704) 872-3000 or For more information about the United Way, its agency partners or the Endowment, please visit

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