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United Way kicks off campaign

The United Way of Rockdale County kicked off its 2011-2012 fundraising campaign Thursday at a luncheon hosted by both Conyers and Rockdale Rotary clubs at the Corner Market. This year’s goal of $313,214 is an increase of $6,300, or 3 percent, over last year. 

Despite a challenging economy, campaign co-chairs Tom Harrison and Elly Dalton’s goal is to get everyone to contribute.  “This represents a good opportunity to put your dollars in the hands of an organization that makes sure they’re directed to places with the most need,” said Dalton. Some of the local organizations receiving funding from United Way include Rockdale Emergency Relief, Project ReNeWal domestic violence shelter, Rockdale Coalition of Children and Families and Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale.

Harrison estimated 70 percent of donations come from individual business campaigns at large employers such as Acuity Brands, Rockdale Medical Center, and Rockdale County Public Schools with roughly 30 percent of funds coming from smaller businesses and individual contributions.

Sheri Willis, development officer with United Way, is confident in Rockdale’s ability to take care of their own. “Rockdale has great supporters,” she said, “even in the economy that we're in, the environment is conducive to fundraising for United Way simply because what our mission is and our focus areas of education, income, health and homelessness.”

Harrison and Dalton encourage everyone to participate in the 11th annual United Way BBQ Luncheon, sponsored by Jim ‘N Nicks Bar-B-Q, on Thursday, September 22.  The event will be held at the Rockdale Career Academy from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with RCA culinary arts students preparing the food. Their goal is move 2,500 plates of barbeque. To help meet this goal by purchasing tickets and/or volunteering to serve, contact United Way at (678)623-2857.