SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - From Cheerwine: Cheerwine, the Salisbury-based soft drink, continues its 100th year celebration by partnering with the Rowan County United Way to raise funds for Salisbury-Rowan based non-profit organizations.
In a Matching Pledge campaign called "100 for 100," Cheerwine is matching dollar for dollar, each new dollar given to this fall's United Way campaign, up to $100,000. Cheerwine is a long-time supporter of the local United Way.
Cliff Ritchie, President and CEO of Cheerwine, announced the campaign at the United Way's kick-off campaign this week. The company will also donate a year's supply of Cheerwine to winners of contests at United Way report meetings and the finale this fall.
Cheerwine was created in1917 by L.D. Peeler, during a sugar shortage during World War I. He bought cherry flavoring from a traveling salesman from St. Louis and mixed it with other flavors to create the soft drink. It was named for its color, which resembles a red wine.
The formula is a closely guarded secret in the Cheerwine family. The syrup continues to be made in Salisbury. It is shipped to Charlotte where it is bottled and canned.
Cheerwine also celebrated its 100th year with a weekend birthday party in downtown Salisbury this summer. The company has also produced a limited edition collectible Centennial Can Series, which includes seven designs reflecting the brand's looks throughout the years. Cans that as "instant-wins" show up in 12 packs across the distribution area.
The Rowan County United Way has a goal of $1,478,000 this year.
"Cheerwine is giving back to the community that has meant so much to us," Ritchie said, in making announcement. He is the great-grandson of the founder of Cheerwine.
Jackie Harris, Resource Development and Marketing Director of the United Way, said that Cheerwine has always been supportive of the united Way. "The '100 for 100' goes over and above anything we thought possible and comes as we are faced with some plant closings and other challenges. It could not have happened at a better time."
Henry Diggs, a local minister, is president of the United Way Board of Directors. This year's campaign theme is "Better Together. Giving. Working. Growing." Salisbury City Manager Lane Bailey and Rowan County Manager Aaron Church are serving as co-chairmen of the fund-raising, which will continue until mid-November.