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September 14--  The goal for this year's United Way campaign in Toombs, Montgomery and Wheeler counties is $550,000.

Campaign Chairman Drew Bolin is confident campaign volunteers will get a positive response from the community, "I just expect them to do what Vidalia has always been famous for, working together and pulling together as a team, to prosper.  It's a fabulous thing being part of a community that strives so hard to help one another when we need it."

United Way Executive Director Patricia Dixon sees the need everyday, "There are just so many hurting people in our community and it's a blessing to see when they come in and they're so down and hurting so bad, but because of United Way we're able to help, and when I say United Way that everybody's who's even given a penny, you made a difference."

The United Way helps fund more than 20 social service organizations in its three-county area and almost 100% of the money stays right here at home, according to Dixon, "We keep 99% of what we collect in Toombs, Montgomery and Wheeler counties right here.  It's important for people to know that no one has control over those dollars but our local people.  It stays right here, it is local money."

Thanks to pacemaker companies and other fundraisers this year, the campaign has already raised nearly a third of its goal.

At the kickoff Thursday, checks were presented including $30,000 from Meadows Health, nearly $45,000 from Dot Foods, $20,000 from Chicken of the Sea, $18,000 from employees of Vidalia City Schools, almost $14,000 from the United Way golf tournament and nearly $15,000 from the "Dancing With the Stars" benefit.

uwkickoff18(L-R) UW Director Patricia Dixon, Campaign Chairman Drew Bolin, Meadows Health CEO Alan Kent, Dancing With the Stars representative Karen Brantley, Penny Pitts with Dot Foods, Kathryn Roseen with Chicken of the Sea, Golf Tourney representative Brent Sammons and Vidalia School Superintendent Dr. Garrett Wilcox.

The campaign concludes in early November.

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