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Hodges Management takes fundraising seriously
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      I think that most people would agree that now would be a tough time to fund raise for a cause or for an organization. The media tells us that everyone is tightening their belts, saving more, and becoming downright miserly.
       When Statesboro based Hodges Management Company, owner of 23 "quick serve" restaurants (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Long John Silver's) in southeast Georgia and southeastern South Carolina, began its annual fundraising efforts for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, they weren't quite sure what the response would be.
       "Each year the donations have increased, so we were hopeful that we would at least be able to raise as much this year as last," said Dana Sanders, director of operations for the company. "We were really surprised at our customers' response this time. It was tremendous."
       Sanders said they began fundraising efforts in each of the restaurants right after Christmas. The plan was to end the campaign at the end of January regardless of what was raised.
       "Last year we were able to raise $16,000 for MDA," Sanders said. "So we set our goal at $16,000 again this year. We met our goal well before the end of January, and were able to raise another $2,000 above it. We ended up raising $18,000 in what many consider to be a very down economy."
Sanders attributes the successful fundraising efforts to the hearts and attitudes of the employees.
       "They didn't just ask customers to buy a green shamrock for a dollar," he said. "They asked people to donate a dollar to help a child with muscular dystrophy. They really wanted to help. They did a great job."
Sanders said this was a very important fundraising effort, because most of the monies raised will be used to fund summer camp for children with muscular dystrophy.
       "They will use this money to go to a special camp in Rincon over the summer school break," he said. "We have been doing this for eight years, and everyone feels it is a very worthwhile cause."
       As far as business goes, Sanders said his company's restaurants are holding there own. "It is tough for everybody, but we are very grateful that our sales are remaining steady. We aren't seeing any big increases, but like I said, we are definitely holding our own."