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United Way Off to Strong Start
Friday, 24 September 2010

September 24--  The United Way of Toombs, Montgomery and Wheeler Counties is setting a goal of $510,000 for this year's campaign and is already nearly halfway there.

ImageUW Executive Director Patricia Dixon leads "Team United" in a campaign kickoff cheer.

The campaign kicked off Thursday in Vidalia with former University of Georgia quarterback David Greene as the keynote speaker.

"I tried to use the example of football.  You've got to have a good offensive line, you've got to have a good quarterback and good receivers.  We all have different gifts and we've just got to find the right fit for it and use our talents.  There are obviously a lot of gifted people here and I just encourage folks to join the team," Greene said.

Image  David Greene poses with Wheeler County Bulldog Cheerleaders after his kickoff speech to the United Way.

The campaign this year is being chaired by Jennifer Evans who says the campaign theme this year is "Team United."  

"There is no 'I' in team and it's going to take everyone.  A group that comes together as a team can accomplish a lot more and I hope we can exceed the goal," Evans says.

So far the campaign has reached 43% of its goal through contributions from its pacesetter companies and some fund-raisers.

Employees and the parent company of Trane are donating $131,250; Dot Foods $36,724; Tumi $16,831; and Darby Bank $11,395.  This year's golf tournament raised $12,250 and the bike ride collected $2,150.

The money raised supports 23 social service agencies and last year provided assistace to some 10,000 people.  Campaign officials says 95% of the money collected goes directly to the needs of the agencies.

David Greene says he's amazed at the amount of money a community of this size raises to help others.

"It's been a great time.  You can tell this community really gives back and it's amazing a town this size raises this much money during hard economic times.  It goes to show the character of the people who live here," he said.

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