The third annual United Way of Central Kentucky fundraising competition between Grayson County Schools and Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center came to a messy conclusion this past Thursday, Feb. 11.
A wager was placed between the two local employers that the head of the organization that raised the most money for United Way of Central Kentucky (UWCK) would have the opportunity to throw a pie in the face of the opposing leader.
The winner of the friendly competition was announced during Thursday’s Grayson County Chamber of Commerce membership luncheon.
Fortunately for Grayson County Schools Superintendent Doug Robinson, the school district came out in spades, raising about $11,400.
Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center (TLRMC) raised a substantial amount for UWCK, as well, though: just shy of $8,000, according to TLRMC Director of Planning and Marketing Bill Oldham.
In total, Grayson County Schools and TLRMC raised about $19,400 for UWCK, and that money helps the organization benefit those in need within its service area, which includes Grayson County.
As his reward, Robinson shoved a pie in the face of TLRMC Chief Executive Officer Wayne Meriwether, whom had prepared appropriately for the occasion by wearing scrubs and a surgical mask.
UWCK President and CEO Megan Stith thanked United Way’s supporters, whom, she said, help families in need become more self-sufficient.
“Thank you all for lending your most prized possessions—your faces—to our cause,” said Stith to Robinson and Meriwether.
Stith also announced that UWCK’s newest board member is retired Superintendent Barry Anderson.
One of the ways in which UWCK benefits Grayson County is through its partnership with the Grayson County Alliance (GCA), who had a number of representatives on hand during Thursday’s luncheon to speak about the services GCA provides to community members in need.
Steve Meredith, of the GCA, said the Alliance’s work would not be possible without United Way, and he thanked UWCK for its support.
The GCA, a not-for-profit organization, was founded in the year 2000 to address local social issues, and this led to the creation of the GCA Food Pantry, Furniture Program, Repair Affair, and Backpack Program, Meredith said.
“I truly believe we do God’s work,” said Meredith, of the GCA.
Meredith also introduced the new GCA Food Pantry Director, Debbie Childress, whom recently replaced longtime Director Donna Wilson.
Childress spoke on the GCA’s need for community support.
30.5 percent of Grayson County’s children live below the poverty level, according to Childress.
“We really have families in our community who are making choices between food and electricity, food and medical care,” Childress said.
The GCA Food Pantry distributed 825,460 pounds of food locally in 2015 and served, on average, 825 families.
Additionally, the Furniture Program receives calls on a weekly basis from local citizens in need of basic necessities, according to Childress.
“We really do impact lives,” she said. “We really do make a difference.”
The Repair Affair, during which volunteers visit buildings and homes within the county that are in need of repairs, is also already preparing for this year’s event and is seeking project managers, teams, and sponsors.
Finally, Childress said, the Backpack Program is seeking community support to fund its activities.
The Backpack Program provides food for Grayson County’s children in need by placing food items in their backpacks, and according to Childress, a donation of $10 a month, or $120 annually, can support one student for a full year.
“We need to support our children, and the Backpack Buddy Program is a great way to do that,” said Childress, adding that every dollar donated stays in Grayson County.
For more information about the Grayson County Alliance, visit www.gc-alliance.com. For more information about United Way of Central Kentucky, visit www.unitedwayck.org.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.