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United Way hosting annual kickoff event

United Way of West Georgia is hosting its 2017 campaign season opener on Sept. 6. The event will take place at the Del’avant at noon, and will be the official start of the organization’s annual community campaign.

“We do an annual campaign every year. We usually kick off sometime around the first of September and go through the end of the year,” said Patty Youngblood, president and executive director of United Way of West Georgia. “We do a campaign that raises funds for 25 different agencies within the community. This kickoff is really just to build some momentum, announce who our campaign co-chairmen are this year.”

This year Marshall and Ashley McCoy will serve as co-chairs of United Way of West Georgia’s fundraising campaign. Marshall works for the LaGrange Police Department, while Ashley works for Synovus Bank. The two have been involved with United Way for some time.

United Way of West Georgia is a member of United Way Worldwide, a leadership and support organization to the network of nearly 2,000 community-driven United Ways in more than 40 countries. United Way of West Georgia’s mission is to serve as the community’s catalyst for improved education, health and income for West Georgia area citizens, and to serve as the lead community organization to enhance the capacity and ability of the organization’s partner agencies to provide for basic human needs in the community, per the organization’s website.

The kick off luncheon for United Way of West Georgia will be the start of the fundraising season that United Way of West Georgia is hopeful will bring in $1 million in revenue. The money raised will be distributed to the 25 partner agencies in order to fund operations for 2018. The money raised is distributed to different agencies based on United Way of West Georgia’s allocation process, and each partner agency that receives money from United Way is required to apply each year, outlining the level of funding requested.

The kickoff party itself will be a vehicle through which to raise excitement about the upcoming months of fundraising ahead.

“We’re going to have peanuts and Cracker Jacks and baseball food,” Youngblood said. “It’s a way to build some excitement about the upcoming campaign. This year we’re talking a lot about teamwork.”

The kickoff is open to anyone, but reservations are needed. For more information, please call United Way of West Georgia at (706) 884-8292 or visit the organization’s website at Unitedwaywga.org.