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BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Publix take home top honors at United Way of the Midlands’ Live United Awards

Columbia, S.C. (March 5, 2020) – United Way of the Midlands recognized hundreds of organizations and individuals for their generosity at its annual Live United Awards ceremony Wednesday, March 4, at Central Energy.

Midlands corporations and agencies were honored for their successful 2019-2020 United Way of the Midlands employee fundraising campaigns. United Way’s Live United Awards are given based on the level of employee and corporate participation in the annual campaign for contributions and volunteerism. The ceremony was led by Kevin Lindler, Senior Vice President, First Citizens Bank, United Way’s Campaign Committee Co-Chair and Brittany Owen, Business Division Chair from Elliott Davis.

“We are incredibly grateful for Kevin and our other Campaign Co-Chair, Dr. Roslyn Artis of Benedict College, for the work they have done to lead our campaigns this year,” said Sara Fawcett, President and CEO of United Way of the Midlands. “Leading the annual Campaign Committee takes unbelievable dedication and time, and I cannot thank them enough for working to ensure a successful campaign season.”

Although the campaign year does not end until June, the event signaled an important milestone for this year’s campaign by recognizing local businesses that completed their fundraising by January 15.

Among the awards given were two Community Champion Awards and the Division Chairman Awards. United Way recognized BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, who had a record year raising $2.5 million, as the Community Champion for Most Dollars Raised; Publix was honored with the Community Champion Award for Best Overall Performance raising more than $623,000.

Elliott Davis, Kennan Suggs HUB International, Absolute Total Care, University of South Carolina, Pioneer Frozen Foods of South Carolina and Nexsen Pruet were recognized with the Division Chairman Awards for making the most impact on the outcome of their division’s campaign for the 2019-2020 fundraising season.

“These companies and their employees serve a vital role in our community by providing United Way with the resources to provide large-scale solutions to pervasive community challenges such as homelessness or lack of basic health services,” said Fawcett. “They are all United Way, and I cannot thank them enough for their generosity and for their commitment to making a positive impact in our community.”

The funds raised through the annual campaign allow United Way to award grants to community impact partners, as well as invest in services and programs to meet the most pressing needs in the areas of health, education and financial stability. Community volunteers in three councils focused on Education, Economic Mobility and Health develop and review a community-wide needs assessment to determine key issues in the community. Based on priorities, opportunities and resources, the councils offer competitive grants to United Way’s local Community Impact Partners who best address these needs.

To learn more about United Way of the Midlands, visit www.uway.org.

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About United Way of the Midlands

United Way of the Midlands is the most collaborative, efficient and accountable model for investing in the improvement of the Midlands community. With nearly 70 Community Impact Partners, United Way works to identify and respond to the critical human service needs of Calhoun, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg and Richland counties. Funds are raised through workplace campaigns, grant writing and individual donations and are directed to fight for causes including childhood literacy, economic mobility and dental and eye care for those without resources. For more information, please visit www.uway.org.

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