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United Way exceeds goal

By Staff
THUMBS-UP n Campaign Chairman Donnie Smith, Campaign Director Terrence Roberts and Board President Wade Sims flash a thumbs-up at a press conference Wednesday. Photo by Carl Crocker/The Meridian Star
By Shere Callahan/Special to The Star
Dec. 28, 2000
Volunteers and staff members of The United Way of Lauderdale County have something worth celebrating as they welcome the New Year.
Board President Wade Sims and Campaign Chairman Donnie Smith announced Wednesday the 2000 fund-raising campaign goal of $760,000 has been exceeded by $5,000.
And the best news is the money is still coming in.
The announcement marks the first time in three years that the local United Way has reached its campaign goal.
Smith attributes this
year's success to the increased number of companies holding employee campaigns.
He also said the campaign's emphasis on what the United Way does in Lauderdale County helped people feel more connected with the program, which increased giving.
Another successful aspect of the campaign, Smith said, was leadership giving individual or family gifts of $1,000 or more.
Leadership giving to the local United Way has risen six percent from two years ago.
Even with the loss of the executive director Bernie Satterwhite in October, official were able to keep the fund-raising efforts going.
Smith said a new executive director will be named in a few weeks. In the meantime, Joel Johnson, director of the Jeff Anderson Health and Fitness Center, will be the 2001-2002 volunteer campaign chairman.
The money raised goes to the 18 community agencies supported by the United Way.
This year's campaign was the second highest in the local United Way's history. In 1998, the most money in a single campaign was raised $800,000.
Roberts praised the efforts of Smith. "Donnie has worked extremely hard during this year," he said. "People all over this community have commented to me about the great job he was doing with the campaign. I truly feel Donnie's enthusiasm and hard work pushed us over the top."