Six NCAA championships. Four-time NCAA Coach of the Year. While those are accomplishments beyond measure, they’re in the rearview mirror now for the United Way of West Alabama’s 2017 Campaign Chairwoman, Sarah Patterson. 

On Friday, June 17, area residents will be out in force to help several area agencies with a variety of needs. The Day of Action, sponsored by the United Way of West Alabama, is an effort to get help to many of the agencies supported by United Way.

Projects for the Day of Action include yard work, food service, school clean up and more. It's hard work, but it's needed - and Day of Action volunteers are ready to tackle service projects in Tuscaloosa, Marengo and Hale Counties.

Anyone who’s parked for an Alabama home football game knows: It can be expensive. But what if that money can go towards a great local organization? That’s exactly what the Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors (TAR) has done, donating thousands to the United Way initiative Success by Six.

Broker Cindy Denney and other members of the Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors continually look for ways to raise money to support local non-profit organizations in Tuscaloosa County. Each football season, Denney and others use the parking lot behind the TAR building and the Home Builders Association of Tuscaloosa building to park cars during Alabama’s home games.

Denney has been parking cars for the past six years, and this year, she raised $5600 for Success by Six reading program.

Meet Jennifer Simon this National 2-1-1 Day, Thursday, February 11. After starting a new job at Publix three months earlier, Simon’s life began to unravel. She separated from her significant other, leaving her with lots of bills she didn’t know how she was going to pay. In order to provide shelter for her two children, she moved into a housing situation that was challenging to afford. And then the pipes broke, ruining most of the things she owned. She spoke with her manager who told her about United Way and its 2-1-1 Information Referral services and that’s when things started to get better.

“I called Tamika at least two times a week at first. I kept calling to get referrals for food and clothing. And then utilities. She helped me find a place to live,” said Simon. “Things are better now, but Tamika still calls and checks on me.”

Dr. Robert Witt will serve as the United Way of West Alabama’s (UWWA) 2016 Campaign Chairman. In this volunteer leadership role, Dr. Witt will join with the campaign cabinet and a broad network of United Way supporters in fund-raising efforts to meet the 2016 campaign goal that will provide crucial financial support to United Way’s 26 partner agencies in West Alabama.


“We are thrilled to have Dr. Witt leading our UWWA campaign this year,” said Jackie Wuska, President and CEO of UWWA. “His proven success in building support and partnerships to better our community will have a lasting impact on our nine-county region. We believe Dr. Witt’s leadership will result in both increased community participation and heightened awareness of the critical needs in West Alabama.”


Other new members named to the UWWA’s Board of Directors are: Susan Bell (University of Alabama), Lindsey Case, (Capstone Bank and UWWA Young Leaders Society President), Nicole Perrigin (NUCOR Steel) and Jay Wells (Alabama Power Company).

Organization “took action,” raising more than $3.6 million

By Tori Linville


United Way of West Alabama’s fundraising goal was $3.4 million for its latest campaign, and organization’s total of more than $3.6 million was revealed Dec. 15 at its campaign celebration. The money will help both UWWA and its 26 partner agencies.


A team of community leaders and volunteers will help to determine amounts based on need, said Julie Mann, the communications director for UWWA. The campaign spanned across nine counties in order to “continually improve the quality of life for residents of Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter and Tuscaloosa counties,” a UWWA press release said. Programs and services that UWWA funds include opportunities that focus on education, financial stability and health.


“Even with unfortunate losses of jobs and businesses in our community, we are so grateful to the many individuals who have stepped up to ensure our partner agencies can help community members who are now looking for new jobs or need assistance,” said Jackie Wuska, president and CEO of UWWA.


Since the campaign’s start on August 11, various companies such as Hunt Refining and Randall Reilly went on to host their own campaign kickoff parties in order to raise campaign totals. Alabama Power, Mercedes and many others arrange to have tours of the UWWA agencies, or speakers come so that donors understand better who their money is helping, Mann said.

United Way of West Alabama (UWWA) will “unwrap” their campaign total during a Campaign Celebration at Embassy Suites (2410 University Blvd.) on Tuesday, December 15th from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

While friends, volunteers and donor s of United Way are anticipating the announcement of whether West Alabama met its record goal of $3.4 million, they can mingle with fellow supporters. Meanwhile, Campaign Chairman Gene “Poodgie” Poole will be working on presenting his “gift” to the crowd. With the help of fellow Campaign Cabinet members, he’ll be rolling out the total at 6:00 p.m.

“We hope everyone will join us to celebrate our campaign total that they all had a hand in raising,” says Jackie Wuska, President and CEO of UWWA. “Even with unfortunate losses of jobs and businesses in our community, we are so grateful to the many individuals who have stepped up to ensure our partner agencies can help community members who are now looking for new jobs or need assistance.”

By Courtney Corbridge

Tomorrow is finally Thanksgiving. It’s often one of the best times of the year—a time to be grateful and to forget our differences. Last week students from across the district celebrated Thanksgiving in a variety of ways. For many students, there was a traditional Thanksgiving feast. Tiffany Craig, of Oakdale Elementary School said, “We had dressing and baked chicken, greens, candied yams and cornbread.” Parents were welcomed to the school to eat with their children, and the teachers came too. Even many retired teachers came back to celebrate with the students.


Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.


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