The United Way of the Coastal Empire kicked off its 2013 Bryan County fundraising campaign Tuesday with a luncheon at the Richmond Hill City Center that included more than a buffet and speeches.
There also was a nod to an enduring kids’ TV franchise as the Red Ranger of “Power Rangers” fame dropped in to explain how important the organization’s campaign kickoff is for all involved.
“We want to show the community this is an exciting time in the next couple of months to be raising money that’s really going to impact Bryan County and help those families in need,” said the Ranger.
The Ranger was actually United Way of Bryan County Director Kristi Cox. She was one of a handful of speakers at the kickoff, which drew local employers and government officials along with United Way representatives and board members.
Bryan County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed gave the keynote speech, noting he’s been involved in United Way fundraising for 50 years. Hobart’s Lawanda Edenfield, the 2013 campaign chair, also spoke before she helped unveil the organization’s 2013 fundraising goal of $75,000.
Edenfield said giving is an important part of her company’s culture and the key to encouraging donations is to keep it simple.
“You keep it simple and you make it fun,” she said, noting Hobart “strongly” believes in supporting the United Way.
“We have toy drives, food drives … We strongly believe words like ‘giving’ and ‘support’ represent the best actions of individuals and businesses alike,” she said.
Much of the donation of United Way is by payroll deduction, and Burnsed said getting those who can afford it to donate $12 a month is a worthwhile goal that could easily double the amount raised across the Coastal Empire.
“If you think about it, $12 a month is probably the cost of a couple cups of coffee at Starbucks,” he said. “It’s not a lot of money. We can all give something, and that’s really where we need to get to.”
Read more in the Sept. 11 edition of the News.