Chatham residents, regional organization honored with United Way ‘Spirit of North Carolina’ awards


United Way of North Carolina’s annual Spirit of North Carolina Award celebrates organizations for their exemplary partnership demonstrated through fundraising and volunteer efforts, outstanding leadership, and creative team building. Additionally, organizations focusing on DEI values and individuals who are champions of United Way are also celebrated. 

From March 1-3, United Way of North Carolina recognized 74 winners representing 17 local United Ways at three regional events, with the Central N.C. United Way agencies gathering in Chatham at the Agricultural Center Thursday, March 2. 

Kirk Bradley, chairman, president and CEO of Lee-Moore Capital, and Karen Howard, chairperson of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners, presented the awards. 

United Way of Chatham County’s award winners included:

• Triangle Community Foundation — Investment in Long-Term Sustainable Impact

Triangle Community Foundation’s (TCF) ongoing support continues to allow United Way of Chatham County to make progress toward bold goals in the community. 

TCF is a major philanthropic leader in the Triangle region, providing training, grant funding and support to a wide range of nonprofits. In the past year TCF strategically invested in United Way of Chatham County for a capacity building grant, allowing for strategic and full funding-model transition planning. Both activities will allow United Way of Chatham County to continue leading and convening the Chatham community in the most impactful ways. The strategic planning support has allowed United Way of Chatham to focus on Board recruitment, diversity and development strategies.

TCF is not only a direct financial supporter of United Way’s long-term impact in Chatham County, but also an advocate for the organization’s work in the community. By including United Way in events and community conversations, they assist in connecting Chatham’s greatest needs to important networks and resources to spotlight the opportunity to volunteer, invest and work together for sustainable change.  

TCF showcases that by supporting United Way, so too is the Chatham Community at large. The Foundation has sponsored and participated in every Day of Service hosted by United Way of Chatham County. Their participation in this annual event allows their employees to connect with Chatham nonprofits, other volunteers and organizations, proving again their investment and commitment to understanding and addressing critical needs in Chatham County.

TCF is a strong, valued partner, leveraging their networks and resources so that together we can achieve more in our community.

• George Evans — United Way Community Ambassador

George Evans is a longtime supporter of United Way of Chatham County, serving as board member, secretary/treasurer, and leading the residential campaign at Carolina Meadows, which is successful year after year. In fact, Evans has supported the campaign in such a meaningful way that it has sustained contributions more than $100,000 for two consecutive years.

Evans advocates for United Way and promotes the impact the organization has in the community within Carolina Meadows and its more than 500 residents. In 2022 he led two volunteer projects coordinated by United Way. He led a project filling more than 60 backpacks with school supplies for Chatham County School children and a Day of Service project helping prepare more than 1,000 United Way campaign mailings. 

Evans is not only one of United Way of Chatham County’s most active volunteers, he has been generous with his time, talent and treasure for more than 10 years. It is with great gratitude United Way recognizes Evans and his contributions to United Way and Chatham County at large.

• Governors Club — United Way Community Ambassador

The Governors Club neighborhood holds the record for raising the most money in any residential community across the state. This year their exceptional campaign performance continued, which is only made possible by the extreme support provided by residents of the community leading the charge.

Governors Club utilizes a network of area captains to champion the effort within their own streets/areas. Twenty-eight Governors Club area captains led the fall campaign, updating campaign fundraising signs around the neighborhood, writing personalized messages to neighbors in each area, making telephone calls to their neighbors and ensuring United Way received publicity in the neighborhood digital and print newsletters and magazines. Over 900 homes make up the Governors Club neighborhood, and the United Way campaign would be impossible without the extraordinary leadership provided by Governors Club’s area captains, and the annual support from the homeowner’s association. The Governors Club community exemplifies what it means to be ambassadors for good and true change agents in Chatham County.

• Chatham Hospital — Building Momentum and Sustainability Through Engaged Leadership or Employees

Chatham Hospital had a record-breaking campaign in 2022/2023. The hospital campaign saw the most donors in the hospital’s campaign history and more than doubled their number of donors over the year prior. In the midst of economic uncertainty and continued impacts of the pandemic on hospital employees, Chatham Hospital leadership is to thank for their success.

Allison Bolin, director of Clinical Business Operations, and Kathy Brown, human resources coordinator, championed the hospital campaign, providing strong leadership through weekly planning calls, events and general communication with C-suite leadership. Each hospital department had its own campaign champion, attending a virtual training, and utilizing a peer-to-peer fundraising platform via Qgiv so that they could individually fundraise with their teams. Weekly emails to their teams encouraged participation, and included United Way FAQs, program highlights and success stories.

Events coordinated by the hospital that helped create a buzz around the campaign included the presence of an ice cream truck at the hospital’s campaign kickoff. A pizza party was also given following the campaign to celebrate their success.

By placing the power of campaign success in the champion’s hands, we saw an increase in campaign ownership by each department champion, and a stronger drive from employees to compete in peer-to-peer fundraising leading to a record-breaking campaign. Health care professionals are not strangers to supporting their communities, however the 2022 United Way Campaign at Chatham Hospital went above and beyond the call of their duty.

For more information on United Way of Chatham County, visit