The United Way of Fort Smith Area holds its 2020 Community Impact and Investment Celebration


Fort Smith, AR (April 21, 2021): COVID-19 changed many things for the United Way of Fort Smith Area in 2020; from its traditional fundraising campaign activities and in-person employee meetings to this year’s campaign wrap-up celebration. On Tuesday, April 13th the United Way held its annual 2020 Community Impact and Investment Celebration event at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. This event highlighted the 2020 campaign and overall community impact total, as well as the work of United Way throughout Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma. Historically, there are more than 200 individuals present at this annual event. Due to social distancing guidelines, United Way limited this year’s attendance to include staff, the Board of Directors, and one attendee from each organization receiving an award. However, that did not stop the celebration. Mike Barr, United Way board member and President of WeatherBarr Windows and Doors announced the annual campaign total, which included employee payroll deductions, as well as corporate and individual gifts. The 2020 United Way campaign raised over $1.467 million dollars for partner agencies and initiatives. When you include contributions for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card savings, volunteer hours, and grants received by United Way, the total impact and investment in our community for 2020 was over $2.45 million dollars.

“Even though the River Valley has been unduly burdened the past two years with the 500 Year Flood in 2019 and the COVID Pandemic 2020/21, our community rallied to answer the call with giving of resources, volunteerism, and gifts in kind to meet needs of those that we serve. We are so grateful for all of our companies, businesses, and for every single donation from $1 to the very large gifts. It was a pleasure to have our award winners assembled to honor their efforts and we are relishing the day when we are all assembled again to volunteer and celebrate. ” said Eddie Lee Herndon, United Way of Fort Smith Area, President and CEO.

Companies and Individuals receiving campaign awards were:

Campaign Coordinator of the Year Award              Kathy Ahne – WeatherBarr Windows and Doors

Live United Award                                                           Greenwood Public Schools

Auto Dealer of the Year Award                                   Carco

Excellence in Community Leadership Award         Oklahoma Gas and Electric

Professional Services Award                                        BHC

Live United Award                                                           Hanna Oil and Gas

Spirit of the Community Award                                  BancorpSouth

Day of Caring/Volunteer Award                                 Rheem

Live United Award                                                           Firstar Bank

Fill the Bus Award                                                            Northwest Arkansas & River Valley Honda Dealers

Hand Raiser of the Year Award                                   University of Arkansas – Fort Smith

United Way Hall of Fame Award                                Landmark CPA

Mission Possible Award                                                 Arkansas Colleges of Health Education

Live United Award                                                           Trane Custom

Spirit of the Community Award                                  Van Buren Police Department

Extra Effort Award                                                           ArcBest

Mission Possible Award                                                 UPS

Game Changer of the Year Award                             Weatherbarr Windows and Doors

Excellence in Health and Wellness Award              Mercy

Excellence in Education Award                                   Fort Smith Public Schools

Oil and Gas Award                                                           Stephens Production

Community Impact Leader Award                             Arvest Bank

Finance and Banking Award                                         First National Bank of Fort Smith

Manufacturing Award                                                    Weldon, Williams and Lick, Inc.

Commitment to Excellence Award                            ABB

Chairman’s Award                                                           ArcBest