BY SARAH GREGORY
Each year, the United Way of Greene County has an impact on nearly 30,000 local citizens by supporting community agencies that help those in need when they need it most.
With the kickoff of the 2013 fundraising campaign Thursday, the United Way plans to continue the long-standing tradition of community support.
The campaign goal this year is to assist 28,000 Greene County residents by supporting 23 community agencies.
United Way estimates it will require $650,000 or more to provide the necessary
During a special kickoff luncheon, held in a meeting room at Landair Transport, Inc., General Campaign Chair Mike Hopkins introduced each United Way division chairperson and gave the first fundraising report of the campaign.
So far, Hopkins said, $124,389 has been raised.
An additional $250 donation was accepted at the kickoff event. A check was presented by the singing group "The Fabulous Fifties," which provided musical entertainment during the meal portion of the event.
Chairs of each division in this year's campaign are: Gary Funk, Major Gifts; Kenny Benson, Small Business; Aaron and Cynthia Knop, Individual Gifts; Jack Lister, Public Service; Lindy Riley, City; and, Roy Carmichael, County.
Hopkins said he is "very excited" about this year's campaign, and the divisions' coordinated efforts will reach thousands of community members in search of support.
"I believe that the United Way serves a larger segment of the community than any one individual or one organization can reach," Hopkins said.
The United Way, he added, builds "the structure and the systems that continue to provide support for those who are not typically recognized, or are not some of the big, known agencies out there."
MANY AGENCIES SUPPORTED
Agencies that receive funding through the United Way of Greene County include: the local chapter of the American Red Cross, Girl Scout Council of Southern Appalachia, the Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County, CASA of Northeast Tennessee, the Third Judicial District Child Advocacy Center, CHIPS Domestic Violence Program, Greeneville-Greene County Community Ministries Food Bank, Greene County Cancer Program, CONTACT Ministries, The Children's Center, the Greeneville Emergency & Rescue Squad, Tennessee Poison Center, the Greene County School System's Family Resources Center, the Greeneville City School System's Family Support Center, Personal Support Services, Foster Grandparents Program, Frontier Health, the Literacy Council, Mountain Region Speech and Hearing, the Opportunity House, RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program), Sequoyah Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Tennessee Rehabilitation Center, and YMCA.
Hopkins and United Way of Greene County Director Wendy Peay announced that this year's campaign has four pacesetter companies.
They are: Wal-Mart, First Tennessee Bank, Jarden Zinc, and Landair Transport, Inc.
The first fundraising reports for Jarden Zinc and Landair were given at Thursday's kickoff.
Teresa Carter of Jarden Zinc announced that so far, the company and its employees have raised $31,600. The effort is not yet complete, however, Carter reported, and some contributions have yet to be turned in.
Funk reported that Landair has held its annual golf tournament to benefit the United Way, but the official campaign at the company has not yet launched.
The golf tournament, Funk reported, raised approximately $5,000.
Landair's overall United Way target, he added, is $50,000.
"We hope to exceed that," Funk added.