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United Way kicks off 2012 campaign with a splash

Posted: September 15, 2011 12:07 p.m.
Updated: September 16, 2011 5:00 a.m.
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The United Way of Kershaw County (UWKC) kicked off its 2012 campaign Monday, with the highlight coming early in the morning when Kershaw County School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan was soaked with water guns outside the Applied Technology Education Campus (ATEC).

“We like to put the fun in dysfunctional,” announced Morgan after taking multiple hits from the water pistols and ending with having the entire bucket of water dumped on his head.

Morgan, the 2012 United Way fundraising chair, said if it helps raise money for a good cause, “I’m in.”

For the first time in three years, United Way has increased its campaign goal from $530,000 to $600,000.

UWKC Director Donny Supplee said between receiving two applications for new partnership agencies as well as having increased amounts of money requested from current partner agencies, United Way has two options.

“We can cut money from other agencies to fund the new ones, or we raise more money,” Supplee said. “Dr. Morgan, our campaign chair this year, has challenged us to raise the bar.”

Supplee said he hopes United Way reaches its goal in order to provide support for new agencies as well as continue support for existing ones.

This year, UWKC has received two new applications from community organizations wishing to become United Way Partner Agencies, Food for the Soul and House of Will.

Supplee said the total amount of money asked for from these two organizations was roughly the amount of dollars increased in the campaign.

“Just because these agencies ask for money doesn’t mean they will get it, but it does have to be considered by the board,” he said.

ATEC hosted a breakfast for the faculty, served by Morgan, before the United Way staff arrived to mark the beginning of the campaign trail.

After soaking Morgan in the name of charity, United Way staffers caravanned to INVISTA in Lugoff to help kickoff their employee campaign. United Way board member and Industrial Chair Paul Liddle presented a $10,000 check to United Way from INVISTA. He was joined by Annette Little, industrial co-chair.

From INVISTA, the United Way crew visited the newly constructed TruVista facility. It was here United Way campaign/communications coordinatorPam Spivey realized the campaign was only $103 away from reaching one third of the total goal. TruVista employee Allison Johnson pledged the money, bringing the total amount raised to $200,000.

“We’re so excited! This is awesome. Thank you so much,” said Spivey to Johnson.

While at TruVista, Director of  Business Operations Edward Hinson shared an uplifting story he said he felt was fitting to go along with the campaign.

Hinson, also a United Way board member, told United Way staffers about a young boy who only had a quarter to put in the offering plate at church.

“He thought to himself, no one would miss a quarter,” Hinson said, “He didn’t think his contribution was good enough.”
Later, the boy’s teacher told him a story of a great prince who had a dream of creating a lake like no other. It would be a lake made of perfume.

The prince invited everyone to join him by bringing a small bottle of perfume to pour into the lake. After the gathering, the prince noticed the lake didn’t smell any different. After testing the water, he found no one had brought perfume, only water, assuming their contribution wouldn’t matter or be noticed.

“After hearing this story, the little boy left his quarter in the offering plate,” Hinson said. “It just goes to show every little bit counts.”

Supplee agreed with Hinson, saying that it’s not a few people giving lots of money, but a lot of people giving small amounts of money to the United Way that make the biggest difference in the community.

After TruVista, it was on to Sentinel Heath in Lugoff, where the group collected latex gloves to be donated to the Community Medical Clinic.

The day’s events wrapped up with a spaghetti lunch provided by Food for the Soul. During the lunch, Supplee explained that he views the schools and public employees as the most necessary givers because they are the vital group in spreading the word to businesses and others.

For information on events or to donate, contact the United Way at 425-8533 or visit its Web site at www.uwkc.net.

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