BRISTOL, Va. — The United Way of Bristol surpassed its $1.1 million campaign fundraising goal, ensuring that its partner agencies will get funding in 2018.

The announcement was made Friday morning at the Boys and Girls Club of the Mountain Empire, where remote-controlled race cars were used to show the campaign total: $1,104,395.

United Way officials downsized the goal by $50,000 from last year during its campaign kickoff in August. Executive Director Lisa Cofer said her staff has been busy raising money.

“This year’s campaign has been exciting,” Cofer said. “We have been able to share the work that the United Way of Bristol does in our community with more people and businesses, which has helped us reach our goal.”

Campaign Chairwoman Carolyn Ferrell said she was relieved to reach the goal. She rallied donors during the year, including a number of businesses.

“This community never ceases to amaze me,” Ferrell said. “The generosity of the businesses and the people in Bristol is why we are able to meet our goal.”

A lifelong resident of the Twin City, Ferrell said was saw firsthand the good that the United Way of Bristol does in the community.

“I’ve seen miracles happen, and people really step up to the plate to make a difference in their community,” Ferrell said. “It’s just a heartwarming feeling and I’m proud to live here.”

Ferrell said she never doubted that the goal would be reached.

“I placed my faith in God and came to realize that there are just awesome people living in Bristol, and we successfully raised the funds needed.”

Work has already started on building the 2018 fundraising campaign, which will kick off the first of September and run through the middle of December, according to Cofer.

Cofer said her team and campaign chairman for 2018 are still evaluating next year’s goal amount.

“As with any nonprofit, there will be challenges, but we live in a very giving community that understands the importance of the United Way of Bristol,” Cofer said. “We make it our effort to change people’s lives for the better by focusing our work on health, education and income.”


Printed with permission: Bristol Herald Courier, Zach Irby

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