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Fund aids PCRC in helping the needy

Helping those in need is the main focus of activities of the Progressive Civic and Recreation Club of Atmore.

Herbert Payne, current president of the organization, said helping those in need is the whole purpose of the group.

“When we know that someone is in need we do what we can to reach out and help them,” Payne said. “If they are in need of assistance with paying for medications or maybe need a little help with their utilities, we want to help.”

Although the group holds fundraisers throughout the year to finance their many projects, Payne said funding from contributions from United Fund make it possible for the club to provide more assistance.

“We appreciate the funds we get from United Fund,” Payne said. “It helps us to be able to do more in the community.”

In addition to helping local residents with prescription or even utility costs, the group also operates a food bank for those in need.

“We operate a food pantry every three months,” Payne said. “We buy our food from the Bay Area Food Bank and distribute it here to those who need a little help.”

Funding from United Fund helps to keep the program going with help from some public donations.

“We do have some people that make donations to us for the food pantry and other projects,” Payne said. “But, the money from United Fund really helps.”

Along with helping those in need, Payne said the group also provides help to deserving students who wish to pursue a higher education.

“We give out scholarships each year to students at Escambia County High School,” Payne said. “Last year, we gave out eight $500 scholarships to seniors at the school.”

The PCRC has been providing scholarship opportunities to students for seven or eight years, Payne said.

Along with donations and assistance with contributions United Fund, PCRC also holds a variety of fundraisers throughout the year. In fact, Payne said, the club also makes a donation to United Fund themselves.

“We do what we can to help everyone we can,” Payne said. “We even make our own contribution to United Fund so the agencies in the area can continue to provide their services.”

United Fund is currently holding their annual fund drive and is accepting donations of all sizes from a variety of clubs, organizations, businesses and individuals.

The goal for the 2010-11 campaign is $50,000 — a lower amount that sought previously by the group.

Previously United Fund President Bernard Bishop said this year’s goal is more realistic considering current economic conditions.

“Our goal for 2011 is down from last year and previous years,” Bishop said. “We had to make some adjustments because we have lost a major donor. We are calling on the community to take action and make needed donations for this campaign.”

To make a contribution to United Fund, contact any member of the board, any participating agency or speak with your employer.

Members of the Progressive Civic and Recreation Club of Atmore held a fish fry Friday to raise funds.|Photo by Lisa Tindell