Martinsville, Virginia


Harvest plans water balloon fundraiser for United Way

The Harvest Foundation is back for a second year in a row with a summer fundraiser that will leave five brave volunteers soaking wet from an onslaught of water balloons for a good cause. 

Allyson Rothrock, president of Harvest Foundation, Kim Adkins, executive director of the United Way of Henry County and Martinsville, community activist and Martinsville City Council candidate Chad Martin, Dr. Greg Hodges, vice president of institutional advancement, effectiveness and campus life at Patrick Henry Community College and Johnny Buck, executive director of Rooster Walk, Inc., will be on the line as targets.

“We raised $3,000 last year for area nonprofits, so I’m hoping to top that this year with donations to the United Way,” said Latala Hodges, director of communications and grants administration at Harvest Foundation. “There are so many organizations and individuals in Martinsville and Henry County who make it their life’s work to improve our community. The United Way of Martinsville and Henry County does a great deal to support those organizations, so we’re happy to give back in any way we can."

Many members of the community will recognize this year’s targets from their work in Martinsville and Henry County.

When asked why he wanted to participate, Buck said, “Everybody has critics, and instead of getting blasted on social media for free, I figured, why not get blasted by water balloons for free and help raise money for the United Way? They do great work for the M-HC community, so this was a really easy decision. I just hope it’s hot and sunny during my time in front of the firing squad!”

Martin said his participation is all about service.

“Dr. (Martin Luther) King (Jr.) once said, ‘service is the rent we pay for occupied space.’ I don’t have a lot of money,” Martin said, “so my time and talents are a way I can give back to a city that has given me so much.”

Rothrock said she’s hoping there are a few people out in the community who wouldn’t mind chucking a balloon or two her way.

“The work we do for our community is often serious and complicated, so I’m happy for any chance to have fun and raise money for a good cause,” Rothrock said. “The United Way is one of our area’s most recognizable charitable organizations with a demonstrated history of service to our community. I’m so proud to be part of any activity that helps our nonprofits succeed.”

The fundraiser is simple. Donations to the United Way earmarked for “Summer Water Balloon Fundraiser” will put all donors in the running to throw water balloons at the five targets. Donors are welcome to throw water balloons themselves or designate a person to throw in their place.

Donation tiers for water balloons are:
• up to $100 – five water balloons;
• from $101-$250 – 10 water balloons;
• from $251-$500 – 15 water balloons;
• from $501-$1,500 – 20 water balloons;
• and from $1,501 and up – 25 water balloons.

Donations can be dropped off until Aug. 12 at Harvest Foundation offices, located at 1 Ellsworth St. in Martinsville (across from Rives Theatre in the BB&T Bank building), or pickups are available at any location within Martinsville and Henry County.

Checks should be made payable to “United Way of Henry County and Martinsville” with “Summer Water Balloon Fundraiser” in the memo line. Cash donations also are accepted. Email or call (276) 632-3329 ext. 18 for additional information.

The water balloon fundraiser will take place at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13 at Smith River Fest, located at the Smith River Sports Complex, 1000 Irisburg Road in Axton.