March 8, 2011

United Way thanks longtime volunteer

Frank Childs, center, is flanked by Patrick Tufts, president and CEO of Granite United Way, and Maria Gudinas, vice president of resource development for Granite United Way. 
Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY -- If slogans are meant to inspire, then Frank Childs is walking the United Way walk.
“Their slogan is ‘Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live United.’ For me, dedication and service inspires us all to live united,” said Childs, who was recognized last week during the organization’s annual celebration on March 2 at the Radisson/ Center of New Hampshire for a record-breaking year of giving.
Childs, who serves as chief financial officer
 for the town of Derry, is a 25-year volunteer for Granite United Way, serving as campaign coordinator and a member of the United Way cabinet for the past two years. He’s also a Day of Caring participant and full-time cheerleader for the important work the organization does right here in the local community. 

“I was astounded when I was told I was going to be honored. There are more people who do much more than I do,” said Childs. “What I do for United Way I do because I want to give back. I don’t do it for recognition.” 
Childs said his faith in God and personal belief system underscore in his life the importance of community service. He is also active with the Salvation Army and the American Cancer Society. 
“We all have our own favorite charities, and I like to be involved with several good ones. What I like about United Way is that by supporting them, it’s a way of giving to our community at large. The work they do through a significant network of volunteers makes it possible to help a lot of people in need who are less fortunate than the rest of us,” Childs said. 
In 2009, as a member of the campaign cabinet, Childs helped lead an impressive fundraising effort that netted a record $3.72 million. In launching last year’s fundraising campaign, the organization adopted a mantra of “One More Dollar” to try to top its previous donation total. 
“And we did it in spades — we raised $3.77 million, which was incredible since we had so many large contributions the previous year. We didn’t think it would be possible to top that. Our original goal for 2010 was $3.6 million, but we significantly exceeded it,” Childs said. 
Childs was instrumental in the organization’s fundraising successes these past two years, said Maria Gudinas, vice president of Resource Development for Granite United Way. 
“I’ve had the privilege of working with Frank for the past three years, and Frank is one of those unique volunteers who is always willing to make visits and connections on our behalf. It’s huge what he’s accomplished, and we’re thrilled to have him on board,” Gudinas said. 
In addition to Childs, Phil Ryan from Merchants Automotive Group was also recognized with a Volunteer Award. Other honorees included Comcast and Southern New Hampshire University, which received Chairman’s Awards; Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester, St. Mary’s Bank and Ride-Away Handicap Equipment Corp., each of which received a Give Award; Gary Long from Public Service of New Hampshire and Ardeth Griggs from People’s United Bank, who received Advocate Awards. Special Employee Campaign Coordinator Awards were given to Anita Wolcott of Merrimack Mortgage and Mark Hobson of Wiggins Airways. 

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