BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Publix take home top honors at United Way of the Midlands’ Live United Awards

Kim Wellman and Scott Graves of BlueCross BlueShield accept top award from Sara Fawcett, United Way of the Midlands President & CEO & Board Chair Andy Folsom

Columbia, S.C. (March 13, 2019) – United Way of the Midlands recognized hundreds of organizations and individuals for their generosity at its annual Live United Awards ceremony on Thursday, March 7 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

Midlands corporations and agencies were honored for their successful 2018-2019 United Way of the Midlands employee fundraising campaigns. United Way’s Live United Awards are given based on the level of employee and corporate participation in the annual campaign for contributions and volunteerism. The ceremony was led by Joan Gabel, Provost, University of South Carolina and John Singerling, President, Prisma Health - Midlands, who served as United Way’s Campaign Committee Co-Chairs for the last two consecutive campaign seasons.

“We are incredibly grateful for the work Joan and John have done to lead our campaigns for the last two years,” said Sara Fawcett, President and CEO of United Way of the Midlands. “Leading the annual Campaign Committee takes unbelievable dedication and time, and I cannot thank them enough for working to ensure a successful campaign season.”

Although the campaign year does not end until June, the event signaled an important milestone for this year’s campaign by recognizing local businesses that completed their fundraising by January 15.

Among the awards given were two Community Champion Awards and the Division Chairman Awards. United Way recognized BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, who had a record year raising $2.8 million, as the Community Champion for Most Dollars Raised; Publix was honored with the Community Champion Award for Best Overall Performance raising over $622,000.

Lexington Medical Center, Michelin, AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, Family Connection of South Carolina, University of South Carolina, Richland School District Two and Regal Columbiana Grande were recognized with the Division Chairman Awards for making the most impact on the outcome of their division’s campaign for the 2018-2019 fundraising season.

“The impact each of these companies brings to the Midlands through raising money to support the mission of United Way is incredible,” said Fawcett. “United Way of the Midlands is the only organization that acts as a convener in the community by bringing people, organizations and resources together to address the most critical needs of the Midlands. I am humbled by the generosity of the companies recognized tonight and thankful for their employees’ participation to make a positive impact in our community.”

The funds raised through the annual campaign allow United Way to award grants to community impact partners, as well as invest in services and programs to meet the most pressing needs in the areas of health, education and financial stability. Community volunteers in three councils focused on Education, Economic Mobility and Health develop and review a community-wide needs assessment to determine key issues in the community. Based on priorities, opportunities and resources, the councils offer competitive grants to United Way’s local Community Impact Partners who best address these needs.

To learn more about United Way of the Midlands, visit


About United Way of the Midlands
United Way of the Midlands is the most collaborative, efficient and accountable model for investing in the improvement of the Midlands community. With nearly 70 Community Impact Partners, United Way works to identify and respond to the critical human service needs of Calhoun, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg and Richland counties. Funds are raised through workplace campaigns, grant writing and individual donations and are directed to fight for causes including childhood literacy, economic mobility and dental and eye care for those without resources. For more information, please visit

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