By John Joyce
Published in News on December 20, 2012 1:46 PM
Wayne Memorial Hospital's Diane Mozingo smiles and holds the lock and key that opened the treasure chest making her $5,000 richer at the United Way Fair Share Challenge event Wednesday. Helping her celebrate is Wayne Memorial Hospital's United Way Campaign Chairman Dean Tino.
Dr. Marlee Ray, 2012 United Way Campaign chairman, claps during Wednesday's Fair Share Challenge event. To meet the 2012 goal, the campaign has been extended to the end of January.
One-by-one, contestants in the United Way of Wayne County's Fair Share Challenge were turned away.
Each of the 20 finalists in Wednesday night's drawing held a key that might -- or might not -- open the lock to a treasure chest that held $5,000.
Time after time, a contestant tried to get his or her key to fit, only to walk away disappointed.
Until the holder of key No. 19 took a turn.
It was a fit, and Diane Mozingo whooped for joy when it opened the chest containing a check for $5,000.
The key hung from the open lock held high above Ms. Mozingo's head as she waved her arms and hugged co-workers and friends, tears welling in her eyes all the while.
"My heart is just pounding," she said as the crowd applauded.
Ms. Mozingo has been contributing to the United Way through the United Wayne Fair Share payroll deduction program at Wayne Memorial Hospital, she said, for 20 years.
"This is unbelievable, I'm taking all my friends out to dinner," Ms. Mozingo said.
The event was the culmination of the organization's annual community campaign, although 2012 chairman Dr. Marlee Ray said the community's work is not over yet.
United Way is only 88 percent of the way to meeting its $1.234 million mark -- a problem a lot of charitable organizations are also facing because of economic concerns around the country.
And to make up that shortfall, the campaign will be extended to the end of January.
Dr. Ray said she has confidence Wayne County will step up to meet the challenge and to carry the organization over the top.
"These folks, as well as many others in this room, have been out there working on the United Way campaign, and I am going to ask all of you to make one last big push," she said. "The United Way board, staff, agency partners and community volunteers -- all of us -- need to continue to make contacts and encourage people to give in this time of greatest need."
And the community can help United Way make its goal, too.
"Tell your friends they can contribute, it doesn't have to be a payroll deduction, they can just send a check. If they're worried about where to send it, just tell hem to call Marlee, she'll make sure they get it in," Dr. Ray said.
United Way board member Geoff Hulse was the master of ceremonies for challenge, which was held at Los Fogones restaurant on South Berkeley Boulevard.
The event also included a big announcement -- next year's challenge will have a new Mazda as a prize.
Frema Motors, which teamed with Wayne Realty Insurance Group to provide the $5,000 prize this year, will take on the grand prize duties again next year to provide a new car for the Fair Share Challenge winner.
Frankie Tillman said Frema is honored to be a part of the United Way effort.
"It's a great cause and something we feel strongly about," Ms. Tillman said.