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United in giving: McDuffie tops United Way goal again

Once again, McDuffie went over the top. The local United Way wrapped up its annual campaign last Thursday as board members met to update the big thermometer located on Main Street.

The 2008 campaign goal of $130,000 has already been exceeded, and Chairman of the Board George Lokey said the money is still coming in.

"I think in these economic times, it's a real testament to our community for supporting United Way and the agencies involved. A lot of giving is down, and our community has exceeded what our goal was, and is to be commended for it," Mr. Lokey said.

As of last Thursday, donations in 2008 totaled $132,876, which is 102.8 percent over the goal. The campaign began at a Rotary meeting last October. Rotarians and Kiwanis members assist in personal solicitation and contracting commercial businesses to request donations.

The annual United Way campaign supports approximately 17 organizations in McDuffie and Warren Counties that help the needy and foster development of youth. Executive Director Charles Bellmann said 18 local firms and businesses give their employees the opportunity to pledge through payroll giving. Employee payroll donations account for 78 percent of donations locally.

The allocation of funds is underway, with committee members visiting agencies to assess their programs and make recommendations to the board for grants.

The executive committee consists of Mr. Lokey, Treasurer Dot Knox, Jaye Jones, Jr., Stephen Sewell, Jr., Lenny Schaeffer and David Jopling.

Donations from businesses as well as individuals are still welcome and may be sent to the United Way, P.O. Box 87, Thomson, GA 30824.

Web posted on Thursday, January 15, 2009

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