United Way celebrates 78 years of Living United During Annual Meeting

United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley held a celebration to celebrate its 2023 Campaign. Nearly 125 community members and business leaders who generously contributed through workplace campaigns, special events and individual gifts for the fundraising campaign, gathered at Laurel Ridge Community College on February 29, 2024 to celebrate the campaign and the night’s theme, “Be the Change: Empowering with Passion to Make the Impossible Happen”.


The event featured the announcement of the United Way NSV Todd Thompson Volunteer of the Year award, given to Dr. Damon DeArment. The volunteer of the year award, which has been given for more than 25 years, recognizes distinguished volunteer service to the community, United Way participation and service, as well as sustained and prolonged service to helping others.


Dr. DeArment has served in many leadership roles throughout his professional career including President of the Judges Athletic Association, President of the Virginia Association of Orthodontists, Vice-Chair of the Braddock Street United Methodist Church Council and Chairmen of the Board of Directors of the United Way NSV. He was one of the founding members of the Winchester Education Foundation and was its first Chairman.


Dr DeArment served for two terms on the Board of the United Way NSV and for two years served as its chairman, during a time of great change. Through his leadership, Dr DeArment helped shepherd the organization through challenging times, including the Covid pandemic and through the search to replace its previous President/CEO, and to its solid footing today. He has been a generous donor for years and continues to be a leader in the community in supporting the mission of the United Way NSV.


“Dr. DeArment represents the very best in us with his giving heart, his passion for philanthropy and his unwavering efforts to make the Northern Shenandoah Valley an even better place to live every year,” says Kaycee Childress, President and CEO of United Way NSV.


United Way also recognized a high school student as the Youth Volunteers of the Year. This year’s award winner was Paige Hiserman, a senior at Strasburg High School.


Hiserman is passionate about community service and credits her parents with instilling her with that passion. She is involved in FFA, Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America, National Honors Society, a 3-sport athlete, Athletic Leadership Council, Student Council Association, and the Shenandoah County Student Advisory Committee. After high school she plans on attending Bridgewater College to major in elementary education as well as continue her running career. 


Additional awards were given for United Way volunteers. The Employee Campaign Coordinator of the Year award was given to Laura Cadden with First Bank. Beth Falu with Navy Federal Credit Union received the Campaign Volunteer of the Year award. The Rookie of the Year award was given to Eryka Leavell for her great work as a new Employee Campaign Manager with Valley Health System. Mary E. Welch-Flores, also with Valley Health System, received the Special Projects/Programs Volunteer of the Year award for her support and leadership of the Impact Grant program over the last 10 years.


While addressing the crowd, Ms[JS1] . Childress, announced that the agency has raised more than $748,000 as of the third week in January for its Annual Campaign. Campaign funds are still being raised until the end of June.


“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our workplace giving campaign partners who support the United Way’s Annual Campaign… Thank you to our corporate sponsors and all of our very generous individual donors and supporters.  Without you all as well, more than 13,000 families (over the last 6 years) would not have been served and we would not have been able to fund $522,000 in change in 2023 throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Without you all we could not have reached any of these milestones,” said Childress. “Likewise, we thank all of our nonprofit partners who are truly the hands and feet on the ground in our communities making lives better one person at a time with United Way NSV’s help and support. It is through our partnerships with these fantastic organizations that we are seeing massive change for the better throughout the Valley,” she said.


The top five fundraising organizations for United Way in 2023 were Trex Company, Inc., Valley Health System, Navy Federal Credit Union, First Bank and Winchester Public Schools. The top five organizations represent $444,531 in contributions, including corporate gifts, as well as employee giving through United Way NSV.


United Way NSV will immediately begin distributing 2023 donor gifts to agencies who apply for funding through the Impact Grant program that is currently underway.




About United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley:

Since 1946 the United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley has worked to impact the community human care needs that matter most to the people of Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah, Page, and Warren Counties and the City of Winchester. United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley convenes the people and organizations necessary to create solutions to our region’s most pressing challenges and collaborates with effective partners. United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley seeks to serve as the catalyst for community change by supporting over 35 partner agencies in the area on Income, Health and Education. For more information visit our website www.unitedwaynsv.org


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