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Drum retiring Jan. 31 from
United Way of Alexander

(Article and Photo courtesy of Micah Henry)
By MICAH HENRY, The Taylorsville Times

At the end of January, a local familiar face will be ending her role as Executive Director of United Way of Alexander County. Gail Drum, 62, will retire on January 31, 2014, she stated.

The United Way of Alexander County Board is planning a reception for Drum’s retirement on Tuesday, January 21, from 4-6 p.m. at the United Way Office at 180B West Main Avenue in Taylorsville (next to Radio Shack), said Board member and past president Dr. Jennifer Hefner. Parking is available in the rear of the facility, and overflow parking will be at Community One Bank, located diagonally across the street.

Has 26 years of Unifour service
Drum noted that the non-profit organization has weathered many years in Alexander County. It was chartered in 1968, according to United Way records. Drum came to the Alexander arm of United Way in August 2000, when she was hired as Executive Director. Earlier, Drum had been working for 13 years for United Way of Catawba County in information referral and the volunteer center director.

Her tenure with Catawba and Alexander offices combine to give her 26 ½ years of experience with United Way.

I just knew this was where I needed to be, and God had placed me here for a reason. To be able to make the difference, and make the friends, and people open their arms up to me and to United Way was so rewarding. I was glad to come here and help make a difference in this community,” Drum said. “I do it because I believe in United Way, and I believe it in my heart.”

She said among her main objectives as the first paid director of United Way of Alexander County was to make the United Way name known and to educate people on what work is done locally by the organization.

Drum volunteered with many other groups and served on other boards, both to help make the United Way name known locally and help the community. She plans to continue volunteer work even in retirement.

Funds raised by the United Way support various local agencies that assist the community, Drum noted. Currently, the United Way supports 10 agencies in Alexander County: Alexander County 4-H, Alexander County Department of Social Services, Alexander County Partnership for Children, Alexander County Family YMCA, Alexander Rescue Squad, American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, Communities in Schools, The Salvation Army, and Shelter Home of Caldwell County.

Agencies which are under the United Way “umbrella” must agree to a fundraising blackout period from August to October each year. This is done so that potential contributors are not confused or overwhelmed as they might be if both United Way and its agencies asked for funds simultaneously.

Keeping funding coming in has been challenging.

“We have [in the past] raised $180,000 in this county. With the economy the way it is, it has taken such a big bite out of our contributions,” Drum related. “It’s still a struggle here for everybody, and we struggle here, too.”

This year’s goal is $140,625, and 35 percent of that amount has been raised. To donate, visit unitedwayalexander.org.

Drum acknowledged the continual support of the United Way Board over the years. The current board includes Dr. Jennifer Hefner, Martha Schronce, President; Jason Mull, Vice President; Jean Reid, Secretary/Treasurer; members Daryl Davidson, John McIntosh, Robin Nicholson, Chip Swinnie, Sue Vorndran, Macy Jones, Matt Moore, Pastor Josh Sherfey, and Deeanna Pennell.

Drum resides in Hickory with husband, David. They attend St. Stephens Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod and have two children and two grandchildren.


United Way of Alexander County
Endorses Coast2Coast Rx Card

Discount program allows consumers to save on
health services and prescription drugs

TAYLORSVILLE, NC —The United Way of Alexander County today announced its endorsement of the Coast2Coast discount Rx card. As prescription costs continue to rise, the new Rx card will offer individuals the opportunity to save on prescriptions and other health-related services while serving as a conduit to increased health and financial stability for all North Carolina.

Coast2Coast Rx is unique among free discount prescription cards in that it gives back to the communities it serves in more ways than one. The card not only provides access to affordable medicines with the goal of improving both consumers’ health outcomes and their personal finances but creates revenue to support vital community programs and services. Each use of the card produces a donation of $1.25 for United Way to invest in meeting our local needs. United Way will use its donations to help stop bullying in our local middle and high schools. The donations will go toward Rachel’s Challenge starting this fall.

Because United Way’s mission is to improve lives, vetting the Coast2Coast Rx card meant that United Way conducted comparison testing between Coast2Coast and other discount programs to ensure that individuals in need would truly benefit. “Coast2Coast passed our testing with flying colors,” said Gail Drum, Executive Director of United Way of Alexander County. Card carriers will receive even better health related benefits as compared to most other discount Rx cards, plus community services will receive a much needed infusion of revenue. The multiple benefits of the Coast2Coast Rx card help us address the issues of improving health and financial stability and make it a real win, win for everyone.”

With no restrictions on age, income status, or existing health conditions, the benefits of the card extend to everyone: those without insurance, the underinsured and those with high deductibles or prescriptions not covered by their health plan. In some cases even Medicare Part D patients experiencing the “donut hole” can use the card to help relieve their out-of-pocket expenses.

“Access to affordable options for prescriptions and healthcare services is essential to building healthy and sustainable communities,” stated Chief Marketing Officer Marty Dettelbach of Financial Marketing Concepts, Inc., the parent company that provides the discount prescription card. “The United Way and Coast2Coast Rx share a core mission—to improve the health and financial stability of the people and communities we serve—making our collaboration an ideal way to serve and reach consumers in need.”

The Coast2Coast Rx card saves consumers up to 75% on over 60,000 brand name or generic drugs at the 59,000+ participating pharmacies, which includes major chains and many independent locations. Cardholders can also utilize the program for discounts on dental, vision, hearing and lab services, as well as diabetes supplies and even veterinary care and many pet prescriptions. Advantages of the program include its ease-of-use; with no paper work to fill out, no membership requirements and no expiration date, the card is a simple way for consumers to immediately save money on their essential medications and health related issues.

To obtain a Coast2Coast card and start receiving benefits pick up a card from United Way of Alexander County, 18B West Main Avenue or download and print a card by visiting http://coast2coastrx.com/index.php/print-free-card/united_way

About Coast2Coast Rx Card
The mission of the Coast2Coast Rx Card is to provide a universe of prescription savings options while improving health outcomes. The Coast2Coast Rx Card has provided millions of dollars in savings on prescription drugs for its program members. A product of Financial Marketing Concepts, Inc., a Florida corporation (“FMC”), that is a leader in the supplemental benefits field, the Coast2Coast Rx Card was developed as a result of the belief that the cost of products and services has risen so drastically that a need has arisen among many families to supplement these costs with benefit programs and prescription cards. For more information please visit http://www.coast2coastrx.com/.


• Some 80 million people, around 43% of America’s working-age adults, didn’t go to the doctor or access other medical services last year because of the cost, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s Biennial Health Insurance Survey – that’s up from 75 million two years ago.
• 50 million working age adults in 2012 didn’t fill a prescription because of cost
• 28% of working-age adults with good insurance also had to forgo treatment because of the price.
• Nearly 3 in 10 adults said they did not visit a doctor or clinic while more than 25% did not fill a prescription or skipped recommended tests.
• 28% of those with a chronic condition like hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and asthma who needed medication for it reported they did not fill prescriptions or skipped doses because they couldn’t afford to pay for the drugs.
• Coast2CoastRx Card can help lower prescription costs; provide discounts on dental, vision and some lab and imaging services through participating pharmacies and health care providers.

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