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Simply smashing

POSTED: November 28, 2011 12:14 p.m.
Photo by Calli Arnold/

Georgia-Pacific loaned associates Paul Mongin and Brandee Gordon, campaign co-chairs Julie Hales and Dinah King and United Way of Effingham County Executive Director Bonnie Dixon show off the final total raised by this year’s United Way Campaign. This year’s goal was $280,000 and Effingham residents contributed $313,000 to United Way.

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United Way of Effingham County reached, surpassed and broke campaign records this year, raising $313,000 — the most money Effingham County has ever raised for United Way.

“I’m not surprised,” said United Way executive director Bonnie Dixon, “but I am very appreciative because I know the caring power that’s in this community. And I also know that people recognize, like we do, how the needs are growing. And this will certainly be a great stride in helping us fill the needs this year.”

Dixon said that it was the little donations that made the $313,000 happen.

“It was phenomenal,” she said. “We were really just hoping we’d get to $280,000, and it took longer to get to that this year than it normally does. But once we put out the plea that it looked like we weren’t going to make the goal, people dug a little deeper. Those who said, ‘I don’t think I can this year, not at the level I was last year,’ did give something.

“Every dollar counts,” Dixon continued. “It’s not the big donations that we look for because we know collectively that if everybody did their part and gave a little, that’s where the success comes in. We have so many generous donors. That $313,000 didn’t come from just a hundred or so folks. There are a lot of $10 and $15 donations in that $313,000.”

The goal that Effingham was shooting for this year was $280,000, which is $10,000 more than last year’s goal. In 2010, the campaign raised $307,000.

“I think that speaks highly of what people see and what they see out in the community —  what they’re money is going toward,” said campaign co-chair Dinah King. “So they feel good about what they’re giving to.”

Georgia Pacific loaned associate Paul Mongin said that their goal was to keep the momentum built from last year’s campaign.

“My satisfaction in the whole thing is that we were able to exceed last year,” said Mongin, who worked on the campaign last year. “My goal coming over here was that we’d keep the momentum going that we created last year, and we were able to do that. It was a little slower in the beginning, but we were able to rally in the end and exceed last year’s total.”

He said that in the last two weeks they raised $20,000.

Brandee Gordon, the other loaned associate from G-P in her first year on the campaign, said that she was glad for the opportunity to get to know the community.

“It’s been a good opportunity to learn this county and meet a lot of new people in this county,” she said. “I’m very impressed with the way everybody has pulled together to give and make United Way a success.”

In total, United Way of the Coastal Empire raised more than $8.5 million, exceeding their $8,255,555 goal.

Campaign chair Julie Hales said that she was “ecstatic” about the results and said that this “proves Effingham County always comes through.”

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