UF holds meeting at Homestead Community Food Pantry April 27, 2021 Crossville Chronicle

written by Glenda Bond board member

Cathy Tipton and Gail Zydlewski with the Homestead Community Food Pantry hosted the second quarterly board meeting of the Cumberland County United Fund April 9. The food pantry, housed in the Homestead United Methodist Church, is one of 35 partner agencies that receive funding grants from the United Fund. At the beginning of the meeting, Tipton and Zydlewski shared that more than 130 individuals and families line up bright and early the second Saturday of each month for a week’s worth of groceries that includes staples like canned goods, dried beans along with much needed hygiene items and toilet tissue.

They invited the board and guests to join them at the close of the meeting for a tour of the pantry facil- ity and see first hand the

preparation undertaken for the next day.

Board President Jennifer Thompson welcomed the 11 board members and guests who attended in-person and virtually that evening at the food pantry. She and VP Allison Brendel shared some of the awareness activities including the radio appearances and visits to various businesses they participated in during the past quarter.

Board member Mark Baldwin talked about the upcoming Bigfoot Festival slated for Oct. 16 here in Cumberland County.

The United Fund will benefit from the proceeds from the first ever UpperCumberland event that is expected to draw upward to 20,000 visitors to enjoy the great outdoor Bigfoot themed activities planned for the 2021 festival. Baldwin encouraged us save the date, visit the Bigfoot website and help promote the big event.

Executive Director Holly Neal announced that the United Fund will once again be participating in the Big Pay Back fundraiser to culminate May 6 via social media. Christy Dolinich will chair the 11th Annual United Fund Golf Tournament slated for Aug. 21 at Dorchester Golf Club in Fairfield Glade.

Neal reminded the board that we as board members are to be the “hands and mouth” in order promote and execute all the activities in which the United Fund benefits is involved

with including getting sponsors, securing teams and prizes for the golf tournament.

Past Co-President Amanda Elmore shared details of Holly Neal’s 20th recent annual performance review conducted that contained input from all board members this year. Much to Holly’s surprise, during Elmore’spresentation, in walked Holly’s family including husband Randy and her youngest daughter Joanna with her family Josh, Lilly and Claudia Newberry.

That’s when the performance review discussion became a full-blown celebration of Holly’s 20th anniversary with the United Fund. Neal is the third and only woman executive director in the organization’s 55-year history.

County Judge Mark Tucker was the first ED followed

by Glenn S. Miller who served for 30-plus years and was often dubbed Mr.

United Fund.

With 20 years in, Neal has rightfully earned the affectionate title of Mrs. United Fund for her leadership, dedication and commitment to the community and the organization. Glenda Bond reminded us in the song “Oh By Gosh, By Golly, It’s Time to Celebrate Mrs. Holly!” that Bond wrote and rapped with the board chorus accompanied by Ann Looney on the accordion. The song, patterned after the familiar “Oh By Gosh, By Golly” holiday tune, stated that Holly is first and foremost a Neal!

Bond, who is Miller’s daughter, dared Holly to break Mr. Miller’s 30-year record with the organization and still be able to retire before she is 88 like Miller did! The board also marked the occasion in gifting Neal with a basket filled with many her favor ite things selected for her own personal enjoyment.

The United Fund is so thankful to have had Mrs.

Neal at the helm leading us in the 21st century challenges of the COVID-19 era and technological advances she has put in place during her tenure. Always gracious and humble to a fault, Mrs. Neal was (almost) utterly speechless throughout the surprise celebration.

Following the board meeting, eight board members — Allison Brendel, Tiffany Atkinson, Amanda Elmore, Nancy Hyder, Flory Dunnigan, Glenda Bond, Sara Drake and Danny Hassler and his wife Kim, along with ED Holly Neal and her granddaughter, Lily Newberry, joined the volunteers from Homestead and Dorton UMC to open boxes and organize canned goods and staples purchased through the Second Harvest Food Bank and the pack up the groceries in preparation for pick up the next day.

Once again, the board and volunteers were evidence of the United Fund motto, “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”

To learn more about the United Fund and how to get involved, visit www. or call 931-484-4082.

Director Holly Neal recently celebrated her 20th anniversary with United Fund of Cumberland County.

Photo submitted

Board member Danny Hassler his wife, Kim, help organize canned goods at the Homestead Community Food Pantry.

Drake leads the charge for the United Fund in FG

2021 Sara Drake pr lake in back ground .jpg
Sara Drake

Sara Drake is the chairperson for the 2020 Fairfield Glade Campaign benefitting the Cumberland County United Fund.

Drake is in her eighth year leading the charge in Fairfield Glade.

“Life has a way of throwing us a curve,” Drake said. “The coronavirus has certainly disrupted our normal daily activities. The unfortunate hurdles this pandemic has caused create an ever greater need to raise money to help those we serve.”

The Fairfield Glade fundraising drive will take place Oct. 1-Nov. 13, with a few changes in place this year.

“For 98% of our residents, the Drive information will arrive via mail in an envelope clearly marked with the United Fund logo,” Drake explained. “What happens to the other 2%? Their information will also arrive in a clearly marked envelope, but may be placed on their front porch after a phone call by a person in their neighborhood, thereby saving the Drive the cost of a stamp.

“We have always had the goal of keeping the cost of the Drive to a minimum so that fundraising money collected can go directly to our nonprofits in Cumberland County. However, this year, the health of our residents is of first priority.”

Residents can also go online to and donate.

“You will receive a receipt automatically after your donation is accepted. If you use this option before Oct. 1, then you would not receive any information in the mail,” Drake explained.

Donations made online after Oct. 1 save residents the cost of a stamp for the envelope provided in the mailed information. Donations can be mailed to 348 Taylor St., Suite 101, Crossville, TN 38555.

“This option seems to be a win-win for the Drive and for you!” Drake said. 

The Fairfield Glade Drive has raised $60,000 each year for the past three years toward the United Fund’s annual goal. This year’s annual goal is $415,000.

“This yearly financial support to our county nonprofits allows them to provide the necessary human support and resources for our neighbors in need, which in turn has made our community a better place to live,” Drake said.

“Thank you in advance for your willingness to make a financial commitment to support those who provide that extra care needed to make life doable for the young all the way up to senior citizens in our county.

“Our flyer, included with this paper, gives you more information concerning the nonprofit agencies that are a part of our fundraising efforts. Remember, all money collected stays and is used in Cumberland County. I hope you will choose to join me in being a United Fund Star!”

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