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Company helps fund BC United Way goal
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Out of all of those who contributed to the United Way of Bryan County, Janice Blunt especially wanted to recognize one Richmond Hill business for its support.
The Bryan County United Way, which is part of the Savannah-based United Way of the Coastal Empire, received $58,182 in donations during its fundraising campaign cycle that lasted from August to mid-November. Almost half, or $23,970, of that money came from the Hobart Corp. in Richmond Hill, according to Blunt, the program director for the United Way office in Bryan County.
“They really, really came through for us,” she said. “We really need to pat them on the back.”
The 65 employees at the Hobart Corp. in Richmond Hill contributed money, bought Boston butts, participated in raffles and other incentives to help raise money, according to Lawanda Edenfield, the human resources manager there. The corporation, based in Troy, Ohio, also contributed part of the $23,970 donated to United Way. 
“That’s basically all we do,” Edenfield said.
The Richmond Hill branch of Hobart, which manufactures food machines, donates to the United Way every year. Especially in the mist of a tough recession, the community needs a helping hand, Edenfield added in an e-mail.
“We feel this was a huge accomplishment for our (65) dedicated, loyal employees,” she wrote. “We take pride in knowing our funds can make a difference in our community.”
A corporation making huge contributions to the United Way in the Coastal Empire is not uncommon, according to Tara Jennings, the vice president of Community Investments for the United Way of the Coastal Empire. Gulfstream, the city of Savannah, Georgia Ports Authority and St. Joseph’s/Chandler Health System are all strong partners, she wrote in an e-mail.
Small businesses, banks, individuals and people who work in Bryan County also donated to the Bryan County United Way’s fundraising campaign, which actually fell short of its $70,000 fundraising goal this year, Blunt said.
“We didn’t make the goal, but it wasn’t for lack of trying,” she said.
The money raised for the United Way of the Coastal Empire goes to other nonprofit organizations in the area. But the money raised in Bryan County stays in Bryan County, Blunt said. For example, the money raised annually goes to fund the United Way food pantry, a rape crisis center and an agency that services abused children, among others.
“[We service] a lot of different programs, Blunt said.
This year, the United Way of the Coastal Empire, which services Bryan, Chatham, Effingham and Liberty counties, raised around $8.15 million and funded 128 programs, Jennings wrote in an e-mail.
“United Way of the Coastal Empire holds an annual campaign in the fall to raise funds that can then be distributed to local nonprofit agencies supporting the most people in need,” she wrote.

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