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United Fund starts 49th drive

By By Connie Nowlin Managing editor
Atmore's United Fund kicked off its 49th annual drive Wednesday with a luncheon and presentation at the Community Center.
In order to provide assistance to local agencies following WWII, United Fund of Atmore was incorporated in 1955 by W. F. Corman, J. M. Jones, Sam B. Ford, Mrs. Jessie Bennett, Mrs. Miles Horn, Haskew Middleton, C. H. Bethea, A. P. Webb, Hattie Lou Hawke, W. M. Patterson, T. M. Hand, and Randolph Luttrell.
This year, 150 tickets to the luncheon were sold, according to Carolyn Crane of United Bank. The meal was catered and donated by David's Catfish House and the Faircloth family. The proceeds of sale of the tickets were the first funds of the annual drive.
This year's goal is $75,000. That money stays in the community, Crane said, and is divided up among 19 agencies.
That represents a net increase of three who are either new agency affiliations, or who have reassociated themselves with the United Fund.
The new agencies are Atmore T Ball, Atmore Area Christian Care Ministries and the Atmore Historical Society.
Many of the area businesses will hold fund-raisers for the drive, which will continue through the end of October.
One of those events is United Bank's rockathon, where participants gather sponsors and then spend hours in a rocking chair. This year the rockathon will be held Oct. 7.
Several representatives of different agencies that are helped by the United Fund spoke during the event, going over what services they provide to the community, and highlighting what United Fund means to the agencies they represent and in turn to the people the agency serves.
For example, there is the Easter Seals program. Not only does it provide direct assistance such as fuel money for trips to doctor's appointments, it also recently built a ramp to an Atmore home where a wheelchair-bound child lives.
Books by mail sends reading material to the homebound and those in rural areas who are without transportation. This summer it sent books to 874 people, many of them children out of school for the summer, who would have had no way to get to the library. The program kept those children reading.
"You can't help but get excited when you hear these stories," Crane said.
United Fund is made up entirely of volunteers who ensure that monies raised directly benefit the agencies.
Many businesses encourage employees make a contribution through an automatic payroll deduction. The employer simply mails the contributions to United Fund of Atmore.
United Fund board members will be visible in Atmore in September and October enlisting local support and are available to speak with businesses and groups. To get additional information regarding United Fund of Atmore, you may call Carolyn Crane or Anne Hetzel at 368-2525.