United Way Kicks off 2017 Fundraising Campaign

Staff Report From Columbus CEO

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley kicked off its annual fundraising campaign Thursday, August 31st at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center. Nearly 1,000 people were present at the United Way’s biggest event of the year. Girls Scouts of Historic Georgia and Boy Scouts of America, Chattahoochee Council, opened the event as a joint color guard.
Through the generosity of United Way Board members, staff, and local companies, many first responders and military were present at the kickoff. The Columbus Police Department, Columbus Fire Department, Phenix City Police Department, Phenix City Fire Department, Russell County Sheriff’s Office, Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, Marshal’s Office, and active duty military were honored and thanked for their service at the event.
This year’s campaign theme “Different Stories 1 Community” emphasizes that even though we all have a different story, we are all part of one community. Individuals impacted by United Way shared their stories with kickoff attendees. Carmen Donegan, who was served by United Way community partner TEARS (Teens Empowerment Awareness with Resolutions), Playol Shippey, who has been involved with Teen Advisors, and Mallory Estes, whose son attends United Way community partner Easterseals, shared how much of an impact United Way has had on their lives.
Raymond Smith, Chief of the Phenix City Police Department, announced United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley’s goal to raise $6,900,000 for the 2017 campaign. “Because of our generous community, we always have a successful campaign,” said Smith. “This year will be no different. With the compassion, determination, and giving spirit of this community, there’s nothing we cannot do,” he added.
“Individuals in our community have truly amazing stories,” said Scott Ferguson, President & CEO of United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley. “Many of their stories have been positively influenced by the work of United Way and our community partners. We are excited about this year’s campaign, and look forward to hearing, sharing, and helping to create many new success stories,” he added.
Funds raised during the campaign are invested in local programs by volunteers. The programs must meet a need in one of United Way’s four core areas of Health, Income, Basic Needs, and Education, demonstrate results, and show good stewardship of the community’s monies.