United Way Kicks Off Local Pacesetter Fundraiser Campaign - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

United Way Kicks Off Local Pacesetter Fundraiser Campaign

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United Way of Southeast Mississippi's Pacesetter organizations kick off their fund-raising campaigns.

The 11 organizations met at the DuBard School for Language Disorders on USM's campus today, as they discussed expectations and initiatives for their respective campaigns.

United Way for Southeast Mississippi's Pacesetter Campaign Chair Billy Browning says the organizations typically contribute 35-40 percent of the total amount raised by United Way's annual community-wide campaign, which starts Sept. 5.

The DuBard School is one of 23 local agencies to receive funding from United Way, something that excites both parties.

"You know we're excited about it," says Browning. "Mississippi proves to be the number one in philanthropic contributions on a per capita basis across the country."

"It's an exciting time for us every year," says USM's DuBard School for Language Disorders Development Coordinator Wes Brooks. "If anything the United Way is consistent in their support of us, and we couldn't be more grateful."

The United Way funds its community investment partner with longevity, as well as consistency.

"The DuBard School has been a receiver of funds from United Way for 50 years, so I'm sure they will continue to receive a very fair amount," says Browning.

Brooks expects this year's donation to go towards supplies for the children, or to compensate for what the school lacks in budget.

He credits such donations for securing the school's financial stability.

"We are partially funded by the state of Mississippi, and the United Way has been vital since the school opened in 1962, in ensuring that we bridge the gap between the dollars we have and the dollars we need," says Brooks.

But Browning praises a community effort for the reciprocal effect all agencies have on the region.

"Because the citizens and the residents of this area are so generous, that we're able to provide a great deal of money to all these agencies, which have a ripple effect of providing their services all across our area," says Browning.

The Pacesetter campaign concludes on Aug. 26.

United Way Pacesetter Campaigns Kick Off 

Hattiesburg - United Way of Southeast Mississippi's Pacesetter organizations kicked off their fund-raising campaigns for United Way on July 23 with a special meeting at The DuBard School for Language Disorders, a United Way community investment partner.  Pacesetters are organizations that hold their United Way employee giving campaigns a month earlier than the overall campaign to build momentum and set the pace for the rest of the community to follow.  The annual, community-wide campaign is set to begin Sept. 5, at which time the Pacesetters will report their campaign results.

            Eleven organizations will be participating in the Pacesetter campaign this year.  They are Anderson Design Center, BancorpSouth, Christian Services, Dixie Electric Power Association, Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity, Hattiesburg Clinic, Mississippi Power, Regions, Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative and Zeon Chemicals.

            "United Way is fortunate to have 11 outstanding organizations serve as Pacesetters this year," said Pacesetter Chair Billy Browning of Mississippi Power. "Most of these organizations have been leading as Pacesetters for several years now, and we appreciate their dedication and hard work. The excitement and motivation felt at today's kick-off will give a great jump start to United Way's overall campaign in the community."

At the Pacesetter Kick-off, company representatives heard personal testimonies from clients of United Way partners; toured the DuBard School and The Children's Center for Communication and Development, another United Way partner; reviewed United Way information and received their campaign materials.

United Way of Southeast Mississippi is a non-profit organization that provides funding to local community investment partners in Forrest, Lamar and Perry counties.  By working with its partners and operating its own programs, United Way seeks to improve our community in the areas of education, financial stability, health and support services. 

United Way's overall community fund-raising campaign will begin with the Campaign Kick-off to be held Sept. 5 at Southern Oaks House and Gardens.  For more information, call (601) 545-7141 or visit www.unitedwaysems.org.

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