Started in September, the drive bearing the slogan "Dare to Dream, Join the Team, LIVE UNITED" surpassed its $475,000 goal, raising $497,943. The campaign primarily generated funds through payroll deductions, which enables employees to donate a minimal amount yearlong, with a portion of their paycheck designated to the United Way.
"Bartow County [reached its goal] and that didn't just happen, that's by design," said Janet Queen, chairman of the United Way's 2011 board of directors. "That's from hard work from each one of you here, whether you're a business owner, whether you work in manufacturing. We all rise to the occasion. ... United Way is such a wonderful organization.
"And I know Brenda [Morehouse, president of United Way of Bartow County] is going to mention to you in just a few minutes about all of our agencies but I would just like to ask our agencies, 'If you are here with us today, please stand up.' I would like for everybody to recognize you," she said to the crowd. "I can't tell you how much we appreciate you. United Way would not be where we are without you. And I challenge you to move forward and get involved. There's no bigger [blessing] than you will receive from getting involved and making a difference in a child's life."
Funds raised through the campaign will be dispersed, based on need, to United Way's agencies, which Morehouse previously said includes AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia, Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, Bartow County 4-H Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, Bartow Civil Air Patrol, American Red Cross, Christian League for Battered Women, New Beginnings Food Outreach, The Salvation Army, Good Shepherd Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Hickory Log Vocational School, North Bartow Community Services, Bartow Health Access, Advocates for Children, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
"Our Live United Campaign for 2011 was a very successful campaign," Morehouse said. "It surprised us considering the recent problems with our economy but because of the board of directors, the work of our campaign committee and the amazing people of this community we made it happen.
"Right now I would like to recognize our campaign chairs ... for their continued efforts to help make a difference in our community," she said, referring to Johnette Dawson, publisher of The Daily Tribune News, and Matt Santini, WBHF station manager. "... We [also] wouldn't be anywhere close to our fundraising goal each year without our biggest supporters -- Shaw Industries, Anheuser-Busch, Publix and Georgia Power. These companies give a tremendous amount of support in donations and also encourage their employees to do payroll deductions. And although it's too many to mention, United Way wants to thank all the retailers, small businesses and individual donors for their participation in the United Way. They also played a huge role in the success of our campaign."
During the meeting, various individuals and county departments also were highlighted for their contributions to the local United Way. In addition to Janet Hogg receiving the Matthew D. Hill Volunteer of the Year Award, Rhonda Ryan was presented with the Pinnacle Award. Also recognized were Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown, the Bartow County Maintenance Department and Bartow County Transit Department for their commitment to community service.