United Way launches fund-raising campaign
By By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Sept. 19, 2001
The United Way of East Mississippi's annual fund-raising campaign kicks off Thursday with a goal of raising $800,000 for its 18 agencies.
The United Way raised $765,000 during last year's campaign, surpassing its goal by $5,000.
The fund-raising campaign formally begins at a 7:30 a.m. catered breakfast in the auditorium of the Mississippi State University Meridian Campus. Anyone can attend for a $5 donation.
The kickoff breakfast marks the start of a campaign in which employees at many companies will be asked to contribute to the United Way through payroll deductions.
Sutton said the United Way is asking everyone to give an hour of pay each month. The fund-raising campaign will run through Thanksgiving.
The breakfast also gives the United Way of East Mississippi a chance to recognize its "pacesetters," companies that agree to start collecting donations from employees early.
The pacesetters campaign began Aug. 3, the United Way's "Day of Caring" in which 140 people in the community volunteered at local agencies.
Pacesetter organizations will report their donations to United Way. The total will be posted on United Way's familiar thermometer sign on the courthouse square by 5 p.m. Thursday.
Sutton said United Way hopes earn 25 percent of its goal, or $200,000, from the pacesetter campaign.
Pacesetter companies include:
The Boeing Company at Naval Air Station Meridian, Citizens National Bank, Clearspan Corp., the Coca-Cola Bottling Co., East Mississippi Correctional Facility at Wackenhut, J.C. Penney, Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center, Mississippi Power Co., Mitchell Companies and Peavey Electronics.
The employee-donation campaign, which makes up most of the funds United Way raises each year, has been expanded this year to include businesses and industries in Clarke and Kemper counties. United Way hopes to further expand into areas of West Alabama and eventually set a goal of more than $1 million.
Sutton said United Way agency funding is based on need and community priority. The United Way of East Mississippi's allocation committee makes funding recommendations to the board of directors after visiting each agency and reviewing the agency's financial status.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a list of agencies and funds they received last year from United Way of East Mississippi.
Boy Scouts: $61,250.
American Red Cross Lauderdale County Key Chapter: $60,760.
Wesley House: $60,000.
Boys and Girls Club of Lauderdale County: $50,000.
Care Lodge: $49,200.
Salvation Army: $48,000.
Girl Scouts: $37,730
Meals on Wheels: $35,000.
Peavey House: $30,000.
Hilltop House for Boys: $28,000.
Hilltop House for Girls: $28,000.
Meridian Speech and Hearing Center: $27,000.
Mental Health Association in Lauderdale: $12,000.
Friendship Center: $10,250.
Youth Excitement Team: $6,800.
Foster Grandparents Program: $6,000.
Community of Hope Tutoring Program: $4,000.