For more than a decade, local handicapped children have benefited physically, psychologically and socially through visits to the Horsefeathers Therapeutic riding center.
Director Thomas Brady enjoys watching handicapped children grow in confidence with their achievements as they ride the gentle horses, and is thankful for the support of the United Way which helps sponsor a host of local programs, including the riding center, dedicated to helping the needy and fostering development of youth and leaders.
United Way Board Member Riley Stamey updates the thermometer for the final time as board member Dot Knox looks on.
The United Way wound up its official campaign last week by exceeding its $90,000 goal by $4,781, all of which will support local programs in McDuffie and Warren Counties.
"We're thrilled," said board member Dot Knox. "(Executive Director) Charlie Bellmann has done a wonderful job helping get this campaign onto another level," she said.
Although the annual drive has ended, officials expect some additional money to come in, said board member Riley Stamey.
"We expect even more funds that will help us meet all of our communities' needs, as the United Way has done for the past 20 years," he said.
The local board anticipates the campaign goal next year to increase, and feels confident the annual effort will expand while it continues to focus on helping children succeed, providing support for families, assisting those seeking to be self sufficient and helping the vulnerable and aging population.
Officials extended special thanks to the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs, which supplied more than 150 volunteers.
"Their help has benefited this campaign in a big way. It takes a lot of people to raise this much money," Mrs. Knox said.
Local companies also contributed greatly, especially through their support in the area of payroll deductions.
The board has begun the process of allocating funds, which will support the following programs: Agape Outreach Ministries, American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Club of Thomson, Georgia-Carolina Boys Scout Council, CSRA Girl Scout Council, GA-TASC, Golden Harvest Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Horsefeathers Therapeutic Riding, Human Relations Commission, MANNA, McDuffie County 4-H, McDuffie County Special Olympics, Partners for Success, Prevent Child Abuse McDuffie County, Salvation Army -- McDuffie County unit, Sand Hills Psychoeducational Center and Thomson McDuffie County Recreation and Leisure Services.