Living United

By Frank Ruggiero (

Article Published: Sep. 26, 2013 | Modified: Sep. 26, 2013
Living United

United Way supporters spell out ‘Live United,’ the organization’s motto, at a campaign kickoff
celebration at Brookshire Park in Boone Sept. 19.

Photo by Anna Oakes

Only a couple of months ago, High Country residents proved they can live united.

With the High Country United Way meeting its 2012-13 campaign goal of $575,000 — the first time in seven years — organizers are hopeful for a second success. As such, the goal for 2013-14 will remain $575,000.

The announcement was made Thursday, Sept. 19, at Brookshire Park in Boone, where a group of HCUW members and supporters gathered on the field to spell out the United Way slogan, “Live United,” for a photo.

Beforehand, the campaign chairpersons — Lori Gonzalez, provost of Appalachian State University, and Tim Baxter, owner of Baxter Mountain Properties — shared a few words.

“It’s an opportunity to help make our community better, where individuals and families achieve their potential through education, income stability and healthy lives,” Gonzalez said.

“I believe in the power of the United Way here in the High Country,” Baxter said. “We are excited to say we met our fundraising goal last year, and … we’re going to do even better than that this year. We need your help to do it.”

The High Country United Way serves as a nonprofit clearinghouse of sorts, with donations being distributed to its member agencies in Watauga and Avery counties. Programs are funded in three categories: education, income and health.

Participating agencies include: Appalachian Foster Grandparent Program, Appalachian Senior Companion, Avery County Health Department – Toe River Health District, Avery County Smart Start, Boy Scouts (Daniel Boone Council and Old Hickory Council), Casting Bread Food Pantry, Children’s Council of Watauga County, The Children’s Playhouse, Community Care Clinic, Hospitality House of Boone, Hunger and Health Coalition, Mediation & Restorative Justice Center, Mountain Alliance, OASIS Inc. (Opposing Abuse with Service Information & Shelter), Parent to Parent Family Support Network — High Country, Sugar Grove Developmental Day School, Volunteer Avery County, WAMY Community Action, Western Youth Network and Yellow Mountain Enterprises.

For more information, including how to contribute, call (828) 265-2111, email ( or visit

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