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United Fund crucial to area

By By Adam Prestridge
Preparations are well under way for the 2007 Atmore United Fund Kick-Off celebration.
That's right, a kick-off.
In years past, United Fund board members have opted to host business leaders and agencies that benefit from United Fund during a lunch reception at the YMCA. This year, a community-wide celebration will be held in conjunction with the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 14.
"We wanted something new and different and something that we thought would spark the interest of the community and get everyone involved including the children," United Fund President Susan Smith said. "Plus, we also wanted to give the community the opportunity to see exactly where the money we raise is appropriated. The agencies that receive these funds will be there that day. Everyone will be able to visit these booths and learn more about the agency."
Agencies will be on hand at booths sharing information about their cause.
The kick-off celebration will be held at Heritage Park and feature entertainment for young and old alike. Polka Dot the Clown will be on hand to entertain the children as will a moonwalk, which they will have the opportunity to jump around in. Local bands, including the Escambia County High School marching band will perform for the crowd as they fill up on hotdogs, Pepsi and snow cones. There will also be drawings for prizes.
Members of the United Fund Board have been meeting on a regular basis to make sure the event goes off without a hitch. Smith said those preparations are going well.
"Everything's been going great," she said. "We have a committee that has worked diligently to make this a success. We are really looking forward to it this year. We think it may be something that we will be doing for now own if it's the success we are anticipating it will be."
Smith is hoping an event of this magnitude will help to encourage more people to get involved in assisting the agencies United Fund represents.
"Everybody will be able to come out and meet these agencies first hand and realize what is available for help in the community," Smith said.
The kick-off celebration will conclude at 7:30 p.m.
Atmore United Fund provides funds to non-profit organizations throughout the area. Funding is obtained through a yearly fundraiser and funds are allotted to agencies and distributed throughout the year.
Without the support of area residents and businesses, United Fund could not provide these needed funds.