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November 8--  The United Way campaign for Toombs, Montgomery and Wheeler counties exceeded its goal by nearly $35,000 this year.

uwvictory1At the campaign victory luncheon Thursday, campaign chairman Drew Bolin reported pledges of $584,820.59 and said he never doubted volunteers would exceed the $550,000 goal, "I'm always looking at God knowing he going to make provisions for us.  That's the way the community looks at things I believe and they work together with a common interest and a common goal and there's no other choice other than to be successful."

United Way Executive Director Patricia Dixon said, "I would just to say thank you so much to everybody.  Every penny counts and makes a difference.  I promise I will do my best to make sure those dollars go right where we tell them they're going to go."

bobniedThe luncheon included a salute to Bob Niederriter who for years has led "Open Doors to the Handicapped" in its mission of providing ramps to people in wheelchairs, giving them freedom to come and go from their homes.  He's been helped along the way by volunteer workers from the Georgia Power Ambassadors and the Vidalia Kiwanis Club.  Kiwanian Steve Brown told the luncheon, "It was a hundred-plus every year for twenty-something years.  Those are people who could not get in their homes in the absence of Bob Niederriter and 'Open Doors to the Handicapped.'  Bob, thank you very much!"

Behind Bob are (L-R) Glenn Goode, Jerry Humphrey, Renee Stevens and Patricia Dixon.

Bob is retiring from his volunteer leadership with "Open Doors" and Glenn Goode, a member of the organization's board, says he has been an inspiration because he refused to let being bound to a wheelchair stop him from helping others, "It's been one of the guiding principles of his life to not allow his handicap hold him back and he doesn't want to see other handicapped people let their handicap hold them back either.  He's been a cheerleader for more than a third of a century cheering on the handicapped to be all they can be."

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