United Fund kick off event today at GECA Theatre

Published 3:19 pm Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Board members with the United Fund are asking leaders and residents in the Atmore community to open their wallets later today as the non-profit organization holds its annual kick off.

The organization will use the event to introduce the different agencies United Fund supports as well as give them a chance to see just how the money they contribute is used in the community.

With the loss of a major contributor this year, and the economic conditions, it will be a challenge for organizers to come up with a variety of ways to have fun and raise some money, all at the same time.

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The goal for this year is $50,000, which is lower than it was last year. Bernard Bishop, United Fund president, said that the goal has not been reached for several years so the decision was made to lower the goal and make it more accessible.

“Our goal for 2011 is $50,000,” Bishop said. “This figure is down from last year and previous years. We had to make some adjustments because we have lost a major donor. We are calling the community into action. We need donations for this campaign.”

Lee Ann Allen, the vice president of the organization and kick-off chairperson said that they hoped to be able to get the community involved at the beginning of the drive and get them acquainted with the United Fund.

“We want to introduce the community to the agencies that benefit from the funds raised through this campaign,” Allen said. “We also want to explain how donations help the entire community by helping these agencies.”

The kickoff event is planned from 5:30 until 7 p.m. tonight at the GECA Theatre. Refreshments will be served and GECA performers will provide entertainment. Allen said that fundraising is harder in these economic times and becoming a challenge.

“We did not have as much community participation last year in the fundraising campaign,” Allen said. “And, this year we are losing any funding that we had previously gotten from the Neal Trust. That means we are going to have to be a little creative with our fundraising.”

Allen said that one idea is to benefit some lucky person with $300 during the event.

“We are going to have a cash raffle at the kick-off event,” Allen said. “Tickets will be available for sale tonight. We will have a drawing at the end of the event and one person will win a $300 cash prize.”

Tickets may be purchased at the event, at Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union on South Main Street or from any board member. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5.

Officers for the 2010 United Fund are Bernard Bishop – president; Lee Ann Allen – vice president; Stephen Pettis – secretary; Ann Glavin – past president; Sandy Zuiderhoek, Carolyn Morris, Joan Hackman, Myrna Monroe, Pat Hetzel and Sandra Gray.

Agencies to benefit from funds raised through the United Fund campaign are the American Red Cross, Atmore Area Christian Care Ministries, Atmore Babe Ruth Baseball, Atmore Cal Ripkin/Bambino Baseball, Atmore Girls Softball, Atmore Pee Wee Football, Atmore Public Library, Atmore T-ball, Concerned Citizens of Atmore, Council on Aging, Dr. Bernard Bishop Ministries, Escambia County Cooperative Library, Friends of Education of Escambia County, GECA, Goodwill Easter Seals, Hospitality House Ministry, Progressive Civic and Recreational Club, Youth Leadership Atmore and Atmore Area YMCA.

“This event is open to anyone who would like to learn more about United Fund and the agencies we serve,” Allen said. “Any donations by cash or check will be welcome and we encourage the community to be a part of United Fund.”

The Atmore Women's Club makes a donation to the United Fund at the United Fund kick off event in 2009.|File Photo