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Local United Way announces campaign end, honors civic leaders

Lisa Dunlap Photo Sherry Mumford, executive director of the United Way of Chaves County, discusses the results of the 2019 fundraising campaign Tuesday at the Roswell Convention & Civic Center during the annual meeting of the group’s board of directors. Campaign chairs Chad Holloway, Jeff Weathers and Caleb Grant of Farm Bureau Financial Services led the campaign, which exceeded its goal by a large amount.

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[Note: This post has been updated to correct information about the source of a large gift to the United Way of Chaves County Foundation.]

The United Way of Chaves County exceeded its 2019 fundraising campaign goal by $227,371.

Individuals, local businesses and community organizations donated $727,371, according to information shared Tuesday during a luncheon at the Roswell Convention & Civic Center.

The goal for the year was $500,000, the same as in 2018, when $414,745 was raised.

The campaign results were announced as part of the annual meeting of the United Way of Chaves County Board of Directors.

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Sherry Mumford, executive director of the nonprofit, credited the hard work of the campaign chairs — Caleb Grant, Chad Holloway and Jeff Weathers of Farm Bureau Financial Services — and the generosity of a local couple who bequeathed money to the organization.

About the chairs, she said, “They approached the task of raising money for our community with such a great attitude. They were there for whatever presentations we asked them to attend, and they didn’t hesitate to encourage the community to support United Way. Thanks to their efforts, many lives will be impacted.”

The United Way distributes funds to more than 20 local nonprofits that provide shelter, food, counseling, educational programs, youth programs, senior services and other assistance to county residents.

The couple whose estate benefited the United Way, as well as other local organizations, was James P. “Jimmie” and Amy Johns. He passed away in 2015, and she passed away in 2018. Both had been key volunteers in the Roswell community. Jimmie Johns had worked with the Pecos Valley Coca-Cola Bottling Co., which his family owned, and with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance. Amy Johns had been a homemaker but also involved with such groups as the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Shakespeare Club, the Roswell Symphony Guild, the Sweet Adelines and the Roswell PEO organization.

Carolyn Mitchell, president of the seven-member board of directors of the United Way of Chaves County Foundation, also presented information about the foundation’s growth and contributions. She said that in 2019, the foundation allocated $25,390 to the United Way fundraising campaign and $13,375 to the United Way organization for its office expenses. She added that the foundation’s assets increased by about 50% to $3,055,000, in large part due to a gift from the Claribel Marshall Trust.

The United Way also honored three people at the meeting. Barbara Gomez, president of Homes for Heroes of Chaves County, as well as a volunteer with several other local organizations, received the Minor Huffman Caring Employee Award. Joan Blodgett won the Community Volunteer Service Award for more than three decades of service with Tobosa Development, the Altrusa Club, the Historical Society of New Mexico, Reflections & Recovery and other groups. Pastor Stephen Deutsch received the Margie Boles Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades leading Presbyterian churches in Hagerman and Dexter and heading youth groups, working with schools and leading youth and adult missions.


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