Anonymous  donor gives  to United Way in Goan’s memory

Indicative of the community’s willingness to step forward in times of need is the anonymous donor who has announced he will match donations made to the United Way of Hamblen County in memory of Edwin Goan.

Goan was the Public Relations Director for the United Way office for 17 years before he passed away on Nov. 21, 2020. He spent 34 years in the Hamblen County school system prior to joining the United Way team.

“We are so fortunate at this point in the campaign to have a donor step forward who is willing to match the community’s giving in memory of Ed,” Campaign Chair David Slack said. “Ed’s family has expressed their wishes for his legacy of giving to continue.”

The memorial donations were requested by Goan’s family in lieu of flowers after it was determined his Celebration of Life service would be held online, due to the surge of Covid-19 cases in Hamblen County. The response came from a wide swath of individuals and organizations, with donations to date totaling nearly $6,000.

“The donations are representative of the positive impact Ed had on everyone he met,” Executive Director Gary Matthews said.

As a school principal Goan developed relationships with teachers and staff, as well as individuals in the Central Office and members of the school board. As a part of the United Way team, he worked with industries and organizations throughout the community and encouraged volunteers to be a part of the annual campaigns.

“Ed’s legacy of concern for children and giving back to the community is one that should be honored by those he impacted,” Matthews said. “Every time we were out in the community together, Ed would see people he knew. After their conversations, he’d tell me they were either former students or the parents of kids that he had in school.”

Covid-19 has affected campaign fundraising, along with adding more needs to United Way agencies. The campaign currently stands at 97 percent of the $1.4 million goal.

“We extended the 2020 campaign through the month of January due to the challenges facing our manufacturers, many of whom have faithfully supported the United Way for decades,” Slack said. “The majority of companies have completed their fundraising and we still have just under $36,000 to raise in order to fund our 20 agencies in the same way we have in the past.”

The anonymous donor, who has supported the United Way for a number of years, will match gifts made in memory of Ed Goan up to $18,000.

“This is a wonderful way to honor Ed and continue the missions of our agencies that work every day, facing increasing challenges, to support those in need in our community,” Matthews said.

Donations in memory of Edwin C. Goan should be addressed to United Way of Hamblen County, P.O. Box 1794, Morristown, TN 37816. PayPal donations can be made at For more information, call 423-581-8601.