Abingdon, VA (July 15, 2016) – The six United Ways across Northeast Tennessee and the United Way of Southwest Virginia will collectively kick off their campaigns at the 2016 United Way Regional Campaign Kick-Off in Abingdon, VA on August 18, 2016. Hosted by United Way of Southwest Virginia and sponsored by TriSummit Bank, the event will feature a joint keynote by legendary college football coaches Phillip Fulmer (University of Tennessee) sponsored by Mountain States Health Alliance, and Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech) sponsored by Food City.

“We are proud to have such distinguished guests to be part of United Way’s movement to create lasting change by improving lives in our region,” said Travis Staton, Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Southwest Virginia. “All funds raised through this year’s campaigns will be invested in initiatives that help children and families improve their academic success, financial stability, and health.”

The six United Way agencies in the region take turns hosting the regional kick-off event each year, rotating among United Way of Bristol, United Way of Elizabethton / Carter County, United Way of Greater Kingsport, United Way of Greene County, United Way of Southwest Virginia, and United Way of Washington County, TN. Each of the United Ways sends out invitations to the event, which serves as the only point of entry; however, United Way of Southwest Virginia posted a video on July 14, announcing that it is hosting a Facebook contest to win two VIP tickets to attend the kick-off and have their photo taken with the two coaches at an exclusive VIP Meet & Greet event. The contest is open to individuals who volunteer and make a difference in the service area of United Way of Southwest Virginia (Counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and the Cities of Galax and Norton). Nomination and voting closes August 4, 2016.

For more details about the contest, visit United Way of Southwest Virginia’s Facebook page at facebook.com/unitedwayswva or their website at netnswvarelief.wpengine.com/2016kickoffcontest.



Frank Beamer served as head football coach of the Virginia Tech Hokies from 1987 until his final game in 2015. He was one of the longest tenured active coaches in NCAA Division I FBS and, at the time of his retirement, was the winningest active coach at that level.



Phillip Fulmer served as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers football team from 1992 to 2008.  In 2012 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and in April 2016 was named a Trustee to the College Football Hall of Fame.  At the end of his tenure at Tennessee, Fulmer had the second-highest number of wins of any head coach in Tennessee history, compiling a 152–52 record.



United Way of Southwest Virginia is a volunteer organization providing support and visibility through tools, partners, advocacy, and other resources to advance the common good.  United Way mobilizes thousands of people to give, advocate and volunteer to improve education, help people achieve financial stability and promote healthy lives across Southwest Virginia.  United Way of Southwest Virginia covers over 5,860 square miles, approximately 15% of the state of Virginia, and more than 350,000 residents in the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and the cities of Galax and Norton. For more information on United Way of Southwest Virginia please visit netnswvarelief.wpengine.com.

View contest rules & overview!