To help achieve this, the campaign will be led by chairman Mark de Shazo, director of guest services for Barnsley Gardens Resort. Although no monetary goal has been set yet, the drive's kick off is coinciding with the nonprofit's annual Dennis Grogan Memorial Sporting Clay Tournament on Aug. 7.
"I feel that it is one of the most important positions that assists with the growth and development of the charity in order to meet the needs of our community," de Shazo said, about serving as the campaign's chairman. "While I lived in Chicago, I was involved in a number of organizations [such as] The Green Tie Ball, PAWS -- Pets Are Worth Saving -- and The Pritzger Military Library, and I wanted to continue my charitable work in Bartow County.
"Being a chairman of the United Way will allow me to devote my time to the issues and charities that are important to me. ... It is a personal goal of mine to encourage local business leaders to become more involved in this great organization in any way they are able to," he said, adding his role within United Way's campaign is ensuring the nonprofit meets its financial goals by organizing and supporting its committee members.
Continuing through Nov. 30, the campaign is primarily going to generate funds through payroll deductions, which enables employees to donate a minimal amount yearlong, with a portion of their paycheck designated to the United Way.
"The reason why payroll campaign has been so strong is because especially in this day and age people don't have a lump sum of money to give to their favorite nonprofit agency," said Brenda Morehouse, president for the United Way of Bartow County. "Everybody wants to give back in their communities and usually if they don't have time to volunteer, it's usually monetary donations. So because they can't come up with that initial donation of $250 or whatever, they get the opportunity to give $2, $3, $5 a week throughout the year and they don't miss it.
"Because they're able to pledge their $125 to $250 a year to their favorite nonprofit organization and [since] it's slowly coming out of their check at $5 a week, they're not missing it. A lot of people don't understand. If you think about $5 a week. Let's say you just gave up [eating out] once a week. That one week, [your] giving up that one sandwich could provide a full truckload of food for people [at] a food shelter. So that's how big that small donation of $5 a week is."
Morehouse said funds raised through the campaign will be dispersed, based on need, to United Way's 15 agencies: 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. The nonprofits provide services to more than 60,000 area residents each year.
Last year, about 50 companies helped the United Way meet its goal of raising $575,000 by offering payroll deduction and providing corporate matches. For the past two years, the top supporters of the drive have been Georgia Power, Shaw Industries, Publix and Anheuser-Busch.
"We've got prominent businesses in Bartow County stepping up to the plate, and we want to encourage other businesses in Bartow County to also get involved because this is the way to go with nonprofits," Morehouse said. "Because United Way works as a nonprofit agency that helps other nonprofit organizations, we want to get the word out to corporations how important it is and how easy it is by supporting just United Way that that trickles out into our community to all the other nonprofits."
To help launch this year's campaign, Morehouse is encouraging the community to participate in the Sporting Clay Tournament at Barnsley Gardens Resort, 597 Barnsley Gardens Road in Adairsville. Sponsored by Georgia Power's Plant Bowen, the tournament begins at 10 a.m. following the 8 a.m. registration. The contest features a four-person team format with 15 shooting stations.
The Sporting Clay Tournament, which raised $45,000 in 2009, currently is far short of this year's goal of $40,000. As of Thursday, the event has generated $17,000 through entry fees and sponsorships. While supporters are encouraged to sign up by July 30, the nonprofit is extending the deadline for sponsors and participants through Aug. 7.
"We have this in memory of one of our employees who was very instrumental and played a big part in the United Way before his death," said Janet Queen, United Way's board vice-chairman and special projects dust mitigation manager for Plant Bowen. "He died unexpectedly. His name was Dennis Grogan and he actually has family that lives here in Adairsville. ... This is another way that we feel like we can give back in his memory.
"Once they understand that this is in his memory, a lot of the contractors who worked out here side by side with Dennis and a lot of our employees and like I said he has family throughout the community, they see this as an opportunity to share in his memory."
For more information about the United Way or the Sporting Clay Tournament, call 770-386-1677 or visit www.bartowliveunited.org.