Community Champions celebrated by United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County

Press release from United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County:

Finding a spark of inspiration during difficult times is something that can help each of us nurture hope and allow us to extend ourselves to others. It was this belief that was celebrated throughout  United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County’s Community Impact Awards Dinner on Wednesday night.

“Celebrating individuals and our partners is in our DNA at United Way,” said Dan Leroy, President and CEO of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. “We know that times are tough for a lot of us right now. So when people muster the energy to lift their voices and raise their hands to champion our work, it is important to take a moment to celebrate them because we know that our community is so much stronger as a result.”

Awardees included:

Shelia Christofalos | Women United Taylor Foss Award
The Women United Award was established in 2017 to recognize a member of Women United’s giving society who demonstrates extraordinary commitment to United Way’s philanthropic mission.

Insurance Service of Asheville | Spirit of the Mountains
This award recognizes a business that is ‘all-in’ in its support of the community and United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, generating impact through its financial investments, leadership and employee engagement, and volunteer participation.

Katie Price | Hands On Volunteer of the Year
Community volunteers have always been the lifeblood of this organization and so many of our partners. This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding volunteerism and an extraordinary commitment to the community through United Way.

Harrah’s Cherokee Center | Gamechanger Award
This award recognizes an individual or business that embraces United Way’s Guiding Principles and the community school strategy by demonstrating outstanding leadership in improving systems for equitable student learning and educational excellence.

Velene Fagan | Live United Award
This award recognizes an individual whose exceptional leadership, passion, and engagement is improving the lives of individuals and families in our community today and for future generations. This award recognizes someone who speaks out on behalf of or educates others on issues that support and advance United Way’s work with exceptional adherence to specific values or standards, such as diversity, respect, creativity, or innovation.

Elizabeth Kelly | The Circle of Hope Award
This award recognizes a nonprofit professional for their extraordinary leadership, creativity, and compassion during a pivotal moment in their organization, our collective history, or over the course of their career.

A full list of awardee profiles and photos can be found at

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