John Tickle presents Jim McGlothlin with the 2012 Jeff Byrd Spirit of Giving Award

In accepting the United Way of Bristol’s top award Monday, James McGlothlin heaped praise on the agencies and individuals who serve the Twin City.

McGlothlin, chairman and CEO of The United Company, received the second annual Jeff Byrd Spirit of Giving Award during the agency’s annual meeting and awards luncheon at the Bristol train station. The award is named for Byrd, the late Bristol Motor Speedway president who was an ardent supporter of the local United Way and its partner agencies. In his remarks, McGlothlin talked about meeting the community’s growing needs.

“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you do for our community,” McGlothlin said to agency representatives and volunteers. “I know it’s pretty easy to give money, but it’s much harder to give time. You’re here because you know the needs and you serve them. A lot of people know of the needs but not many always give. So many of us recognize the need and don’t give. It’s a real honor to be among those who recognize the need and do give.”

Through his company’s charitable foundation, McGlothlin and his family have donated millions to local health and human service agencies, public safety and educational entities. The foundation has also raised millions to support Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Va.

While he appreciates the recognition, McGlothlin said much work remains.

“I urge everybody to think hard about where we are right now,” McGlothlin said after the event. “There are a lot of unfortunate people out there that we need to feed and clothe. [We need] to help take care of some people who can’t take care of themselves. It’s not a time to congratulate ourselves; it’s a time to work harder.”

About 200 attended the celebration of the 2011-12 fundraising campaign, which exceeded its $1.3 million goal by raising more than $1.4 million. Funds are distributed to 28 local agencies to help operate more than 50 programs.

“I want to confess there were plenty of times during this campaign I was not at all sure we were going to meet our $1.3 million goal,” campaign Chairwoman Nell Bieger said. “But I am proud to say once we made it the goal in December we kept going because the need is so great.”

Bieger credited the United Way staff, campaign cabinet and volunteers, partner agencies, and donors, who all contributed to the campaign’s success.

Other award winners included:

Community Service Award: Ronan King, Virginia Intermont College.

Volunteer of the Year Award: Jim Maxwell, publisher of the Bristol Herald Courier.

Top Giver Award: Strongwell Corp.

Campaign Chairman’s Award: City of Bristol, Va.

President’s Campaign Award: Electro-Mechanical Corp.

David Ring of Strongwell Corp. succeeds Dawn Figueres as president of the United Way board of directors and Maxwell will serve as chairman of the 2012-13 fundraising campaign.

Both predicted the upcoming campaign will face challenges but the community will “rise up” to meet them, Ring said.

“This year’s [upcoming] campaign will face many challenges,” Maxwell said. “But with the passion and commitment of the extraordinary team of dedicated campaign volunteers, we will succeed one day at a time, one dollar at a time, one family at a time and one life at a time. This is why we do what we do.”

Printed with permission from:  The Bristol Herald Courier, David McGee


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