Organization aims to improve lives in Denton County

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United Way of Denton County President & CEO Gary Henderson with 2019 Dr. Bettye Myers Humanitarian Award recipient, Denton County Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell. (Photo by Chill Photography)

Did you know that 29-percent of Denton County households live paycheck-to-paycheck, 20-percent of Denton County residents are impacted by a mental health condition and 33-percent of Denton County students are at risk of dropping out?

The United Way of Denton County (UWDC) works to identify the “community’s most critical needs and implement collaborative, innovative solutions to improve lives in Denton County.”

In addition to serving children and families, UWDC supports veterans and their families, advocates for overall mental health and addresses homelessness.

UWDC’s signature gala celebrates the year’s successes and honors the companies, employees and community leaders who make it happen.

The theme for the 8th Annual Gala, on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m., is “Dancing with Our Stars.” It will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton Convention Center.

Following months of practice, local celebrities will strut their stuff on the dance floor and the crowd will vote for one couple to win the coveted Mirrorball trophy.

“Our signature gala, UNITED Tribute, was created by lifetime board member and longtime Flower Mound resident Dr. Sheri Dragoo in 2012,” explained UWDC President & CEO Gary Henderson.

The United Tribute Dancers partnered together this year are names you may be familiar with: Stacie Anaya and Deval Patel; Sue Bowman and Paul Voorheis; Daphne Adams and Preston Smith; Amy Brothers and Terry Buzzard, Jr.; Jennifer Frazier and Dr. Kelby Trusty; Brooke Moore and Jeremy Wear; Dr. Lacey Rainey and Michael Talley; Whitney Donohue and Jason Rainey; Dr. Lori Rapp and Fred Whitfield; Michelle Forbes and Hector Juarez; Gabby Keyes and Glenn McGinnis; Savannah Ferguson and Reagan Wood; and, Tracey Long and Aaron Benedict.

“This annual event celebrates the companies, employees, and community leaders who make up the tapestry of United Way of Denton County. It’s a true celebration to culminate our community working together to improve and transform lives,” said Henderson.

Comprised of volunteers elected to three-year terms from across Denton County, the Board of Directors is responsible for the governance, oversight, and strategic direction of UWDC.

As part of its expansion in southern Denton County, UWDC just announced the addition of a sixth Board of Director volunteer, Spencer Turner, president of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound.

Prior to his post at Texas Health, Turner served as President for Baylor Medical Center and CEO of Trinity Medical Center in Carrollton. His community involvement resume includes roles as board chair for the Metrocrest and Flower Mound Chambers of Commerce and the Cross Timbers Rotary.

In early November, five new board members were added: Melinda Galler, Guy T. Phillips, Ann Pomykal, Andrea Roy and Michael Thomson.

“United Way of Denton County is a community-focused organization that delivers positive results through careful assessment and keen financial acumen,” said new Board member Guy T. Phillips. “I believe in the direction of United Way of Denton County, and I look forward to doing my part to continue the organization’s success.”

United Way of Denton County recently partnered with United Way Metropolitan Dallas to serve the needs of a growing Denton County better, while still preserving the autonomy of both organizations.

“As our organization expands to encompass the whole county, our board room must reflect the breadth of the region we serve,” said Henderson. “The leadership, talent, and experience of these six new board members elevates our reach and will help us improve and transform more lives in Denton County.”

For more information on the event, the United Tribute Dancer bios and to cast a vote, visit: www.unitedwaydenton.org/UNITED-Tribute

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