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United Way kicks off local effort

The annual United Way Campaign is up and running in McDuffie County as funds from last year's campaign continue to flow in.

"Some of our residents work in Columbia County, and that money is coming back to us, but we don't know how much it is," said Charles Bellmann, the executive director of United Way of McDuffie and Warren Counties. "So we raised our goal 10 percent more than last year's goal."

Chairman of the Board George Lokey announced the 2007 campaign goal is $120,000 last Thursday as he and Mr. Bellmann, executive committee member Riley Stamey and board member Jaye Jones unveiled the new campaign sign on Main Street in Thomson.

There's already some red color filling up the thermometer on the sign as 14.5 percent of the goal has been obtained. Mr. Bellmann said Savannah River Site, Milsco and the McDuffie County Board of Education have already completed their pledges and turned in over $17,000. The campaign runs from Oct. 1 until Nov. 29, 2007.

United Way is an international non-profit organization that improves lives in local communities by gathering donated funds and distributing to agencies that benefit the needy.

According to Mr. Bellmann, almost all of the money raised comes from automatic payroll deductions. Mr. Bellmann said the top businesses with employees that contribute in the local area are the McDuffie County Board of Education, Shaw Industries, Milsco Manufacturing, Advanced Auto Parts, United Postal Service, the City of Thomson and McDuffie County. Civic groups such as Rotarians and Kiwanians also contribute.

Mr. Bellmann stressed that 92 percent of the funds raised stays here in the local area benefiting Agape Outreach Ministries, the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Club of Thomson, Georgia-Carolina Boy Scout Council, CSRA Girl Scout Council, GA-TASC, Golden Harvest Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, MANNA, McDuffie County 4-H, McDuffie County Special Olympics, Partners For Success, Salvation Army - McDuffie Co. Unit, Sand Hills Psychoeducational Center and Thomson-McDuffie County Recreation and Leisure Services and the local Family Y. Call 706-597-8873 for more information.

Web posted on Thursday, October 11, 2007

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