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Pacesetters help jump start United Way campaign

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            As United Way gears up for the Sept. 18 kickoff, a group known as "pacesetters" is already hard at work mobilizing themselves to make an impact on the community.

            Pacesetters are companies and organizations who have agreed to start their United Way campaign a month early to set the stage for the overall campaign when it officially begins in mid-September.

            “These companies are important to United Way as they set the tone for the campaign," said United Way Executive Director Bob Olliff. "We are so thankful to these organizations and their employees for their willingness to step up to the plate as a caring leader in the community.”

            A new component of the Pacesetters portion for the 2008 campaign is the loaned associate program. Pacesetter companies agree to loan one of its employees to United Way for a total of 20 hours during the campaign. This concept is modeled after similar programs in larger metropolitan areas and utilize volunteer business people in many ways. The loaned associates help company campaign coordinators as well as educate employee groups about the campaign. 

            Jonathon Young, a manager associate with Citizens Bank of Bulloch County, is one volunteer who is serving as a loaned executive. 

            “Through our pacesetters training, I learned that 99 percent of the money raised stays here to impact our local community,” he said. “My understanding of the 20 United Way agencies is much clearer now and after touring a special education classroom to learn more about the Council for Exceptional children program, I see how vital these funds are to the success of these programs.” 

            Citizens Bank and other companies like Loxcreen see the importance of involving employees with nonprofit fundraising.      

            “The loaned associate program is another way to contribute in a non-financial way,” said Howard McClure, vice president of Loxcreen, a manufacturer in Brooklet that produces custom vinyl extruders.

            McClure has served on the United Way board for two years.

            “With 80 employees, our financial gift may not rival that of a large corporation, but through time of volunteer work we can maximize the efforts of the people working to ensure the success of the overall campaign,” he said.

            Pacesetter companies include: Brodie Meter Co., Citizens Bank of Bulloch County, City of Statesboro, Dabbs, Hickman, Hill & Cannon, Farmers & Merchants Bank, First Southern National Bank, Georgia Power Co., Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home, Sea Island Bank, Wal-Mart Distribution Center, Park Avenue Bank, BB&T, Queensborough National Bank, and Loxcreen Company.

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