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‘Spring Bling’ benefits United Way in absence of ‘Tasting Statesboro’
Raffle tickets available; drawing Thursday
United Way

Time is running out to buy tickets for $5 each giving a boost to the United Way of Southeast Georgia in return for a chance to win a 65-quart Yeti cooler or a Louis Vuitton Graceful MM purse in the Spring Bling Raffle.

A drawing for these prizes will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 1, viewable live through the United Way of Southeast Georgia page on Facebook. Ticket stubs are slated to be gathered Tuesday from the in-person vendor locations listed later in this article, but tickets can also be purchased online through a link at until 11 a.m. Thursday.

The Statesboro-based, regional United Way assists charitable partner agencies in six counties. But Spring Bling proceeds will remain in Bulloch County to assist people here, said Carey Melton, United Way of Southeast Georgia executive director. Each year the organization supplies more than $200,000 to 16 partner agencies just in Bulloch.

Payroll deduction commitments made during annual fall workplace campaigns remain the United Way’s largest source of funding. But pandemic year 2020 brought temporary shutdowns and workforce cutbacks at some participating major employers.

“Our numbers have been down this year due to the decrease in giving that way, so we now are having to get creative,” Melton said. “We’ve never done a community-wide raffle like this, so this is a first.”

‘Tasting’ postponed

Additionally, the annual Tasting Statesboro the United Way fundraiser, which features samples from participating local restaurants, has been postponed because of continuing COVID-19 concerns. The 10th annual Tasting Statesboro, held in March 2020, raised $25,000, a record for the event. But it was one of the last public gatherings of its type held in the area as the pandemic prompted cancellations beginning one year ago.

“We’re unfortunately not able to have it in March of this year, but we are looking at having it in August,” Melton said Friday.

Meanwhile, donors can help the United Way, its partner agencies and the people they serve right now by participating in the Spring Bling Raffle, she said.

Prize sponsor

Dr. Delan Gaines, whose wife, Brandi Gaines, is a United Way of Southeast Georgia board member, bought and donated the new Louis Vuitton purse, and Anderson’s General Store gave the United Way a $50 discount on the Yeti cooler so that more of the raffle proceeds can remain with the charities.

Dr. Gaines and Optim Orthopedics are listed as the event sponsor.

Ticket locations

Tickets have been available for purchase since March 1 at locations including Bleu Blush Boutique, Briggs & Stratton, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Frills by Scott, Great Dane, Heritage Bank, PowDur Salon, RJ Pope, Shane’s Rib Shack, Synovus Bank on Lovett Road, and Viracon.

All 15 schools under the Bulloch County Board of Education also had tickets available for purchase by employees, and their tickets will be collected beginning Monday, Melton said. The school system is the local United Way’s largest supporter in terms of of workplace campaigns, and Phillip Tremble, Bulloch County Schools human resources director, currently chairs the United Way of Southeast Georgia board.

Benefiting agencies

In Bulloch County, the United Way’s assisted partner agencies include Action Pact, A.C.T.S., American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County, Boy Scouts-Coastal Empire Council, Bulloch Alcohol & Drug Council, Bulloch Med Connection, Child Advocacy Services SEGA, Ferst Foundation of Bulloch County, Food Bank Inc., Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, Hearts & Hands Clinic, Homebound Services, Prevent Child Abuse Bulloch, Safe Haven and Statesboro Library Youth & Family Programming.

The United Way of Southeast Georgia also covers Candler, Emanuel, Evans, Jenkins and Tattnall counties, with various partner agencies and fundraising efforts in each county. 

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