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United Way to kick off fund raising campaign
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Members of the Newton County United Way will hold a luncheon at 11:45 a.m. Friday at the Turner Lake Complex to kick off their fundraising season.

This year’s local goal is $475,000, the same as last year’s because of the economic climate. Last year $485,000 was raised
Covington resident Brig. Gen. Les Carroll will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon. Carroll, a highly decorated and experienced serviceman, recently was selected to become commanding general of the 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command based at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio beginning on Oct. 1.

The kickoff is just the beginning of the official county-wide campaign. Corporations such as Kroger, General Mills, AT&T and Publix have already held their annual campaigns to benefit the United Way.

“Newton County has always been supportive of the United Way and of helping neighbors and supporting other agencies,” said Doris Strickland, county United Way fund chair. “We just go on a hope and a prayer.”

The United Way is an umbrella for thousands of charitable organizations across the country. Locally the United Way fund supports agencies such as FaithWorks, the Covington Family YMCA, Prevent Child Abuse Newton and several others.

Currently, the local fund stands at a total of $123,000. This figure includes the amount generated by employees and then matched by the fund. Strickland said much of the money raised comes from employee payroll deductions that are pledged and subtracted from pay checks every week or two weeks over a year.

Funds begin to be allocated to various local agencies in November and are then distributed monthly.

Small business and individuals can donate to the United Way, P.O. Box 1344, Covington, Ga. 30014.

For more information about the United Way or to reserve a spot at the luncheon, call Strickland at (770) 786-7638.

Jennifer T. Long contributed to this story.