Albemarle Area United Way’s 2020 campaign didn’t just break the nonprofit’s previous fundraising record — it shattered it.
The AAUW announced Wednesday it raised $640,512 for this year’s campaign, surpassing the previous record by $184,000.
The nonprofit continued its Virtual Spirit Week Wednesday by recognizing Publix of Kill Devil Hills as the 2020 Spirit of Giving Award winner.
It was during the presentation of that award that Bill Blake, AAUW’s executive director, announced the United Way chapter raised $640,512 in pledges, besting last year’s record of $456,000.
“It is not a typo,” Blake said as he unveiled a cake decorated with the 2020 fundraising total.
“It is not supposed to be $460,000. It is $640,000.”
Blake said the AAUW had hoped to top $500,000 sometime in the next few years.
“We blew that out of the water, folks,” Blake said.
Blake, joined by Kelly Herr of the Albemarle Area United Way Board of Directors, presented the Spirit of Giving Award to Josh Stubblefied, store manager of Publix in Kill Devil Hills.
“Your company was the number one contributor of dollars per employee in the United Way Way campaign here locally,” Blake said in presenting the award.
Blake added that it was his understanding that the Kill Devil Hills store was first in United Way giving among all Publix stores in the Charlotte division.
Stubblefield confirmed that the store finished first in the Charlotte division for giving as a percentage of payroll. “That’s awesome,” Blake said.
Stubblefield said Publix’s Charlotte division includes all of North Carolina and also parts of South Carolina and Georgia.
Blake also pointed out that United Way recently recognized Publix as the top giving location globally for United Way.
Stubblefield said Publix was able to contribute $63 million to United Way across the country.
Blake noted that there are 1,400 United Way chapters around the United States.
“But what’s even more amazing about that is that Publix only operates in seven states.
“So it’s just a testament to the giving, the generosity, the philosophy that the associates have at Publix supermarkets,” Blake said.
It all started with the founder of Publix, the late George Jenkins, Blake said.
“That’s where we get our strong foundation and our strong roots from for giving and supporting our community,” Stubblefield agreed.
Blake said Spirit Week celebrates this year’s campaign and also kicks off next year’s.
Publix had 28 Keel Club donors — those giving $1,000 or more to the organization — this year and the goal for 2021 is to increase that number by 10 to 38.
Associates at the Publix store raised just over $45,000.