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Citi donates record $280K to United Way of Washington County

Sue Guinn Legg • Jan 7, 2019 at 9:28 PM

Citi of Gray is has hit a new high in its annual support for United Way of Washington County.

On Saturday, Citi’s corporate leaders presented a cumulative $280,000 employee and corporate contribution to the United Way’s 2018 fundraising campaign.

Made during halftime of East Tennessee State University’s men’s basketball game with Chattanooga at Freedom Hall, it was the largest donation from a single company in the history of the local United Way.

In a press release announcing the donation, Rick Van Hoever, senior vice president of Citi’s customer service group, said it was an honor and a privilege to present the contribution on behalf of employees at Citi.

“It’s important to recognize that the majority of this donation comes from many employees giving their fair share,” Van Hoever said, referencing the United Way’s “fair share” definition of a monthly United Way contribution equal to one hours of the givers’ earnings

“The employees at Citi recognize the good work done by United Way and understand that our community would be a very different place if the United Way was not able to help 35 programs that work every day to make our community a better place,” he said.

Saturday’s contribution followed a $256,870 Citi donation to the 2017 Washington County campaign that helped push United Way over last year’s $1.8 million campaign goal.

The gift also secured Citi’s distinction as the largest single contributor to the Washington County United Way campaign for the past several years.

This year’s campaign chairman, Gary McAllister, thanked Citi for its “continued support and increasingly generous gifts,” both as the campaign chairman and as an area resident.

Citing the large percentage of area residents who are impacted by the nonprofit programs supported by the campaign, McAllister said in the press release, “With almost half of all Washington County residents having contact with a United Way-supported program last year, this donation and others will help more people than ever before.”

McAllister expressed gratitude to Citi’s employees for both their financial support and volunteer service to United Way’s programs, including its new virtual reading initiative implemented last fall to help raise student reading levels in 10 local elementary schools and two after-school programs.

Quoting this year’s campaign theme, McAllister said, “Citi and its employees set a great example of how we can ‘change lives and make a difference in our community.’”

At its last report meeting on Oct. 30, the United Way campaign was midway through the fall fundraising season with $858,597 in contributions pledges, or at approximately 51 percent of this year’s $1.7 million goal.

Now in its final weeks, the United Way campaign will wrap up with a celebration dinner planned for Jan. 24.

Information about how to help the campaign may be obtained by calling the United Way at 423-282-5682 or found online at www.unitedwayofwashingtoncountytn.org.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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