United Way Alliance kicks off ‘Embrace Your Inner Hero’ campaign

West Virginia Batman made an appearance at the breakfast before departing for a two-day appearance schedule at seven Wood County elementary schools. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)

VIENNA — Things are different around the United Way Alliance of the Mid Ohio Valley offices.

Tuesday morning began the first full campaign where Wood and Washington counties fall under the umbrella of United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Executive Director Stacy DeCicco said the United Way Alliance “had bits and pieces of Washington County before, but now it’s all under our roof.”

The campaign for the 2018-19 year is “Embrace Your Inner Hero.” DeCicco said a monetary goal is not the emphasis for the campaign.

“The goal is for an impact for the dollars donated,” she said. “The goal is to see a measurable change to be able to identify progress.”

Robert Fehrenbacher, this year’s board chairman of the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley, speaks to the gathering at the kickoff breakfast Tuesday morning. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)

According to a drive video produced for the United Way, 50 percent of the families in the Mid-Ohio Valley “are 1-2 paychecks away from a financial crisis and every day the gap widens.”

“It’s time we start closing the gap,” DeCicco said. “It’s time to embrace the inner hero.”

According to DeCicco, the United Way Alliance works with 80 programs in the area.

“We can’t fight alone.”

Robert Fehrenbacher, who is the plant manager of Chemours and this year’s board chairman of the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley, said “you usually think of a hero involved in military or sports but that doesn’t apply to the United Way. The hero is admired for noble qualities. The hero does something most don’t think about possibly doing or don’t want to do. They rarely recognize heroic moments as heroic.”

United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley Executive Director Stacy DeCicco announced the 2018-19 campaign theme would be “Embrace Your Inner Hero.” (Photo by Jeff Baughan)

“People seize the opportunity to be heroic and do things to make a difference to their community,” he said. “You may not see it, but think of the things people get from these agencies supported by the United Way Alliance.”

With the theme of heroes, the kickoff breakfast received a visit from the “West Virginia Batman,” who is also known as John Buckland. He also is in Wood County visiting seven elementary schools.

“In trying to change the world,” he said, “you need to have money to make that happen. Anybody and everybody can make a difference. Bloom where ever you are planted.

“Your legacy is what you leave behind but also is what you take with you,” he said. “You have to find your purpose in life otherwise, the world is not as good as it could be. Put building your legacy first. God takes care of those who take care of others first.”It doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference in someone’s life. The foundation to success is integrity.”

“There were heroes here and potential heroes,” DeCicco said, “find your cape.”

As part of Tuesday’s kickoff, Robin Wallace is the 2018 United Way Alliance of the Mid Ohio Valley’s campaign chairperson, BB&T was honored as the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley’s Corporate of the Year and Joan Foley was honored as the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley’s Volunteer of the Year.

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