Centennial Celebration Was One for the Ages!

Photo credit: Cathey Sigmon Ritter

United Way of Central Alabama hosted its Centennial Celebration on June 24, 2023 at City Walk BHAM. An incredible turnout of community members made the day a resounding success. With music, games, a partner agency fair, the Pacesetter kickoff and more, this event commemorated the last 100 years and set the gears in motion for the next century in a very big way. Special thanks go to presenting sponsors Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Alabama, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED and Regions.

The day started with a bang – literally. Zulu connection pounded their drums and dazzled the crowd in costumes and on stilts, drawing a crowd to the Sound Stage for the Pacesetter Campaign Kickoff. Lenora Goodman, accompanied by a choir, premiered the song “What a Difference,” co-written by Ruth Elaine Schram and Dr. Henry Panion, III and produced by Dr. Panion. This year’s Annual Campaign Chair Dow Briggs, M.D. and Pacesetter Campaign Chair Rebekah Elgin-Council both shared some inspiring remarks before announcing this year’s Pacesetter goal of $11 million (learn more about Pacesetter here).

After the brief program ended, the growing crowd dispersed across the venue to check out all the exciting things happening. Some listened to the live music from an incredible assortment of bands, some toured the enormous timeline of UWCA’s history, some patronized the local food trucks and some meandered around the 40 partner agency booths that were there to share information about their wonderful programs. Kids had a blast getting their faces painted, jumping in the bounce house and working on an art project hosted by the Birmingham Museum of Art. Interactive sponsor and sports booths also made a splash, and the crowd went wild when Big Al, Aubie and Blaze showed up to make their way through the block. Before the final performance of the night, one final announcement was made regarding UWCA’s launch of the Forever United campaign, with the goal of raising the endowment fund to $100 million in honor of 100 years. The endowment fund allows UWCA to continue to be the community’s safety net in times of crisis. The event was rounded out with an incredible performance by the headliner band Moon Taxi.

We could not have created such a memorable event without our sponsors, volunteers or our supportive community. We can’t wait to see what the next 100 years will hold!


For even more of a post-event review, check out this press release from Peritus Public Relations.