United Way Presents Annual Awards

July 26, 2018

HIGH POINT — The United Way of Greater High Point presented its community partner award to Thomas Built Buses Inc. during its annual meeting Wednesday at the High Point Country Club.

Caley Edgerly, president/CEO of Thomas Built Buses, accepted the award for the company moments after passing the gavel as 2017-18 chairman of the United Way board of directors to Rick Blake, 2018-19 United Way board chairman. Blake’s first action as chairman was to present the award to his predecessor.

"Under the local leadership of Caley Edgerly, Thomas Built Buses has been extremely active in supporting numerous organizations and causes in greater High Point," Blake said. He noted Thomas Built Buses' donations have benefited many of United Way's funded agencies, including the recent expansion of 10 Little Free Libraries across the city and the Fans for Seniors program. 

"This summer, Thomas Built Buses employees donated almost 100 new fans, almost a third of all the fans we have distributed thus far," Blake said.

Until that moment, Edgerly had led the meeting and presented the 2018 Chairman's Award to Clark Gibson, the president of Jones & Peacock Insurance in High Point, who made a significant difference in the community over a period of time. Gibson, a High Point native, was one of the United Way's youngest campaign chairmen when he served in 1990. This year, Gibson served on the United Way's building committee to locate a new home office because its former location was in the path of the downtown stadium construction.

"From a personal standpoint, I'm a guy who's been working and living in High Point for just seven years now," Edgerly said. "I'm amazed to be a part of this community with guys like Clark who have been here a number of years involved in so many things. It's brought me a great opportunity, for just being seven years in, to fit in a little bit better with some really good people that do really good things in your community. I'm also thankful for the humility that serving on the board and in the community provides me."

Carlvena Foster, another High Point native who now serves on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners as well as numerous other community groups, was named the Slane Child Advocate of the Year for her knowledge and dedicated work with and for young children and their families.

"She always says she lives, she works and she worships in her community," said Michelle McNair, a long-time United Way board member and chairwoman of the United Way Children's Initiatives. "She knows High Point and she loves High Point. She has worked tirelessly and with passion for young children to make them reach their greatest potential."

The Rev. Frank Thomas challenged businesses to give an additional 3 percent to 5 percent, as well as challenging each person who donates to the United Way to increase their giving by 1 percent and to find someone who is not a contributor and ask them to give something.

"Because a little of something is more than all of nothing," he said.

Bobby Smith, president of the United Way of Greater High Point, recognized volunteers and staff of the Greater High Point Food Alliance, Life on Lexington Church and Second Harvest Food Bank for their ongoing efforts to provide food for families in need. The United Way's BackPack program helps provide food to nearly 1,400 students during the summer, Smith said.

"Year after year, polls rank the Greensboro-High Point metropolitan areas as among the hungriest in the country," Smith said. Through the hard work of many of you, our local food banks and partner agencies, we have been able to fight hunger head-on by finding ways to help children and families in need year-round."

Smith noted there are now 52 organizations participating in the annual CAN-paign Kickoff Food Drive that will deliver food on September 11 to a dozen or more food pantries in the community.