"Even before I came on board with Georgia Power, which was in 2001, Georgia Power had done a major fundraiser for United Way every year," said Janet Queen, United Way's past board chairperson and project relocation coordinator for Plant Bowen. "When I came here they were doing the bass tournament. So we started looking for something out of the box, something a little different that would kind of spark people's interest.
"So that's when we held our first sporting clay shoot. It was such a success that first year that we started making it an annual event. During that time, Dennis Grogan had been really involved from a Georgia Power perspective with United Way and he passed away suddenly. So we decided at that point that we would continue this annual event in his honor."
A four-person team format with 15 shooting stations, the tournament will begin at 10 a.m. following the 8 a.m. registration. "Shooter only" entry fees are $500 for a team of four, $250 for a team of two and $125 for an individual. There are four sponsorship levels, ranging from $250 to $1,000.
"United Way is such an integral part of the community," Queen said. "People sometimes do not understand how many partnering agencies there are under United Way. I think that sometimes people are very surprised to know that United Way partners with Red Cross, The Salvation Army and Advocates and the list goes on. I believe now we actually have 15 partners.
"One of Georgia Power's objectives is to be a good community partner and be good stewards to the community. It's just very important to this company that we give back. As employees, we're encouraged to participate and be an active part in the community and, I think, that makes us a very-well rounded company."
Proceeds from the Aug. 18 tournament will benefit United Way's agencies, which include 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 and Advocates for Children. Combined, the nonprofits serve about 60,000 people each year.
"This has become our largest event of the year as far as fundraising," said United Way of Bartow County President Brenda Morehouse, adding the sporting clay tournament generated $25,645 in 2011. "It's special to us because it is the Dennis Grogan Memorial but it's also special to us because we make it our kick-off event.
"We always have it kind of mid-August and United Way's [fundraising] campaign runs Sept. 1 through Nov. 30. So it's not only the memorial tournament and a great way to raise money to come back to United Way and our other nonprofit organizations, but it's a great way to kick off the new campaign and get everybody excited about United Way and what we're doing."
For more information about the United Way or the sporting clay tournament, call 770-386-1677 or view the flier posted on www.bartowliveunited.org. Registration forms need to be turned in by July 31.