United Fund kicks off

Published 6:39 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Atmore Chief of Police Jason Dean will be “on patrol” early on the morning of Thursday, Dec. 8, rounding up some of Atmore’s business and community leaders for a trip to the slammer. The goal — for each temporary inmate to raise $1,000 in “bail” money in order to support Atmore’s United Fund, and to go free before day’s end.

United Fund Vice President Lee Ann Allen said the event should be a lot of fun for everyone involved.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Allen said. “So far we have 11 people committed to be temporary inmates.”

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This year the United Fund’s overall fundraising goal is $60,000, and Allen said she is hopeful that people and businesses will turn out to help after a rough year in 2011 that saw the fund fall short of their goal.

Despite a late start to this year’s fundraising campaign, Allen said the United Fund will be working diligently to Atmore’s United Fund is preparing to kick off its 2012 fundraising drive this December in a unique spot — the city jail.

Atmore Police Chief Jasmeet the 2012 goal following a disappointing 2011 finish that left UF unable to distribute fourth quarter contributions.

“Hopefully that will be a good fundraiser, a good kickoff and a good injection. We really need it,” she said. “We fell short of our goal last year and we’re trying to do some different things and get some new ideas and hopefully get some more funds generated.”

Inmates will be available to be “bailed out” during December’s kickoff from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., but Allen said funds may be donated at any time prior to the event.

Each year the UF raises money to be distributed to a host of local agencies in order to achieve the organization’s goal to “unite people and resources to build a stronger Atmore.”

Allen said this year’s drive will have some new faces on both the UF board and the organizations benefiting from the fundraiser.

“We have three less agencies this year that have requested funding,” she said.

Atmore’s United Fund board also has three new members taking over for several directors who have stepped down. In 2012 Kellie Ridgeway, David Landis and Katrina Wallace will join the UF team as board members.

Local agencies supported by the United Fund in 2012 include: Ester Seals Alabama; American Red Cross; Friends of Education of Escambia County, Ala.; Atmore Cal Ripken Baseball and Babe Ruth Baseball; Atmore Pee Wee football; Atmore Tee Ball league; Escambia County Cooperative Library System; Atmore Public Library; Greater Escambia Council for the Arts; Atmore YMCA; Atmore Girls Softball; Concerned Citizens of Atmore; Atmore Area Christian Care Ministry; and Hospitality House Ministry.

Allen said she is hoping this year’s $60,000 goal can be met by April or May.