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United Way hits, passes goal
Bonnie 2
Effingham United Way Executive Director Bonnie Dixon shows off the happy numbers as the campaign draws to a close. - photo by Photo by Rick Lott

The Effingham Chapter of the United Way of the Coastal Empire announced Wednesday it has exceeded its goal of $260,000, reaching a total of $290,112.

Effingham United Way Executive Director Bonnie Dixon, said with her fingers crossed, that they are hoping to hit the $300,000 mark when all is said and done.

Going over the mark that far in Effingham will really help the overall goal of the region’s United Way, according to UWCE President, Gregg Schroeder. This year, they’re going to need all the help they can get.

“Clearly, it’s coming in slower,” he said of the pledges and the tough economy. “We need some of that Effingham magic to rub off on everyone else.”

He said it was hard when a community goes from a 5 percent unemployment rate up to 10 percent.

“It’s clearly tougher this year than any other year,” Schroeder said. “We’re going to keep on going, keep on pushing and not let go.”
Georgia-Pacific’s team was more successful this year due in large part to what was termed a “caring and effective” leadership.

“The number I’m most proud of is that this year we’re at 61 percent participation,” said campaign team leader Paul Mongin.
Loretta Greene-Gaines of Georgia-Pacific said it was because of all the “hugs and kisses.”

Georgia Pacific’s goal of $110,000 was left in the dust as $148,670 was raised by Wednesday. They said they expect to hit the $150,000 mark as they presented their annual check for $25,000 to Dixon.

This year’s co-chair Meredith Arnsdorff said she thought that trying out new strategies was a big key to this year’s success. She thought things such as being able to give incentives and setting shorter reply deadlines helped them go over their goals for the year.