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Businessman challenges local companies to contribute to COVID-19 Relief Fund

SALISBURY — Nearing $50,000 raised, the COVID-19 Relief Fund has attracted a contribution from one business that’s challenging others to do the same and the support of a brewery that’s selling T-shirts to raise money.

By Saturday morning, the United Way’s relief fund had raised $44,667 to help local people with food insecurity, medical expenses and housing needs caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The United Way has received 11 applications from local nonprofits seeking funds, and it intends to select its first round of grantees Friday, said Executive Director Jenny Lee.

Nonprofits can also apply for financial help associated with business operations disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Included in the COVID-19 Relief Fund’s total is $1,250 from Innospec, a chemical company with a facility off of Long Ferry Road. John Struzick, the company’s manufacturing financial manager, said Saturday that it’s important for the community to come together and that the relief fund is a way to do that.

“I understand that some of our businesses are really hurting right now, but we have some pretty good size manufacturers in the community that I believe can step up,” said Struzick, who added that Innospec is still operating. “So, I’m certainly willing to put that challenge out there.”

New Sarum Brewing also is among local companies helping to contribute. In an announcement posted Friday, Brewmaster Andy Maben said the business would sell T-shirts that feature two griffins and the text “#RoCoStrong.” Proceeds from the shirts, which are selling for $25, will go entirely to the Rowan County United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund. Maben said the shirts could be purchased at the brewery, 109 N Lee St. in Salisbury, or delivered within a 10-mile radius with an order of beer.

“We’re here for you. Remember, we are Ro Co strong,” Maben said.

Since Wednesday, the relief fund has raised $6,052 to add to the previous total of $37,365. The United Way says it will match all donations from the public with up to $120,000 of internal funds that have been reallocated to the relief fund.

Anyone interested in making a donation can do so at rowanunitedway.org, text the word “RELIEF” to 704-286-1011 or mail a contribution to the United Way at 131 West Innes St., Suite 201, Salisbury, N.C. 28144. Those mailing donations should address them to the attention of the COVID-19 Relief Fund. Those making a donation online should include a note in the comment section saying it’s for the COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Nonprofits who apply for funding will be able to request up to $10,000. Lee said the United Way plans to continue fundraising as it awards grants to nonprofits. Nonprofits can obtain more information about applying by visiting rowanunitedway.org or calling the office at 704-633-1802.

Donations since Wednesday are as follows:

• Karissa Minn, $25

• Patrick and Linda Broadway, $200

• Jason and Diana Keith, $500

• Lou Adkins, $100

• Wayne and Jill Smith, $202

• Gregory Mitchell, $25

• Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Overcash, $500

• Mr. and Mrs. Greg Alcorn, $500

• Elaine China, $100

• Suzette Bailey, $100

• Dorothy Loflin, $100

• Peggy Huffman, $100

• Windsor and Katherine Eagle, $200

• Frank and Anne Saunders, $100

• Willie and Ethel Evans, $50

• Nancy Stanback, $500

• Laura Sandridge, $200, who made her contribution in honor of all personnel who are working hard during the outbreak.

• Perry and Carolyn Hood, $100

• Jim and Linda Duncan, $200

• Frank Labagnara, $200

• Joanne Cole, $100

• Howard Brown Agency, $100

• South Rowan Y Service Club, $50

• Mark and Barbara Perry, $100

• Kenneth and Mary Ann Kolkebeck, $400

• Mr. and Mrs. Charles Goldman, $150

• Anonymous, $150

• Anonymous, $1,000

• Innospec Cares, $1,250

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