This year’s Wiregrass United Way Pacesetter Kickoff will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a short program followed by an exciting service project on Tuesday, Aug. 3, at the Wiregrass Rehabilitation Center in Dothan.
United Way volunteers will package 30,000 meals to feed individuals and families in need throughout southeast Alabama, and these meals will be distributed by the Wiregrass Area Food Bank.
Each year, approximately 100 area businesses and organizations agree to conduct their employee fundraising campaign for the Wiregrass United Way between early August and mid-September. These businesses are considered “Pacesetters” because they jump-start the annual United Way campaign and “set the pace” for the remainder of the year. It is not too late for companies to register to be a Pacesetter.
Pacesetters are vital to the success of the overall campaign because they allow the Wiregrass United Way to start their overall fundraising one month early. The United Way’s goal is to complete all employee campaigns by the end of October to avoid raising money during the holidays. Additionally, the Pacesetter campaign enables the Wiregrass United Way to have a significant amount of money raised when the official campaign kickoff is held on Sept. 23.
This year’s campaign will focus on the slogan, “The Way to a Better Wiregrass.” The overall fundraising goal for 2021 will be announced during the Pacesetter kickoff event. In addition, the Wiregrass Foundation will be present to issue a Challenge Pledge to the local United Way.
During the event, attendees will have the opportunity to view the new campaign video, produced locally by Marketing Services. This year’s video features the Boys and Girls Club, which is now operating in all six counties covered by Wiregrass United Way, and the House of Ruth.
The Wiregrass United Way relies on hundreds of volunteers each year in order to have a successful campaign. Scott Bowers, AAA Cooper Transportation, is the board of trustees chair, and Mike Smith, Servis1st Bank, is the overall campaign chair.
There is a county board of directors for each of the six counties served. The board chairs are as follows: Barbour: Sarah Milburn, 22nd State Bank; Coffee: Mary Sue Cain, retired; Dale: Trae Avant, State Farm Insurance; Geneva: Ralph Riley, Geneva County Schools; Henry: Tom Solomon, retired; and Houston: Todd Youngblood, Howell Hardwood Flooring.
Each county also selects a county campaign chair. Each county is represented as follows: Barbour: Mitzi Clayton, Eufaula City Schools; Coffee: Angie Sullivan, River Bank & Trust; Dale: Yolanda Everett, community volunteer; Geneva: Lance Dixon, Precision Biomedical; Henry: Bobby Hamil, SARCOA; and Houston: Linda Cunningham, City of Dothan.
The Wiregrass United Way has served the Wiregrass area since 1938, currently funding 38 member agencies across Barbour, Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry and Houston counties. Funds raised by Wiregrass United Way are utilized locally in the six-county area. A committee of local volunteers determines how the funds are distributed among the member agencies. For more information call 792-9661 or visit the website at www.wuw.org.