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United Way celebrates more than $50,000 raised
I-United Way luncheon pic 1
United Way for Dawson County Co-Chair Clint Bearden, right, presents board member and Dawson County Schools representative Rick Brown with an award for the second largest campaign donors for 2017 with $7,750 raised. - photo by Allie Dean Dawson County News

United Way for Dawson County celebrated another year of fundraising with a luncheon last Wednesday, where contributors were recognized for their generous donations.

According to board member Rick Brown, United Way raised $53,049 for its 2017 campaign, surpassing its $40,000 goal.

Five top contributors were responsible for 55 percent of that amount and were presented with awards.

Top contributors to the campaign were BB&T with $1,700 raised, PCL Industrial Construction with $3,100 raised, Summit Industrial Construction with $4,180 raised, a 29 percent increase from the previous year, Dawson County Schools with $7,750 raised, a 33 percent increase from the previous year, and The Kroger Co. with $12,235 raised.

The Kroger Co. is now in its 11th year as the largest campaign contributor, Brown said.

"We're also very grateful for the support of Northside Hospital Forsyth, Publix supermarkets and the many businesses and individuals that contribute financially to this community through United Way," Brown said.

Also recognized at the celebration were BJ and Paul Hallock and Jim and Barbara Watson for their support of the organization.

The Watsons are the hosts of the organization's annual BBQ fundraiser, which is held at their home. Last November the BBQ generated $11,428 for United Way.

United Way's mission is "to improve lives in Dawson County by mobilizing the caring power and spirit of our citizens." The money raised will be distributed across 15 agencies and programs that serve Dawson County residents.

Agencies that benefit from the money United Way for Dawson County raises include: American Red Cross Northeast Georgia Chapter, Challenged Child & Friends, Children's Center for Health and Healing, Dawson County 4-H, Dawson County Family Connection, Dawson County Wee Books Program, Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, Good Shepherd Clinic of Dawson County, Hall-Dawson CASA Program, Next Generation Youth Development, NOA (No One Alone), Northeast Georgia Council Boy Scouts of America, Rape Response, R.E.A.D. and St. Vincent DePaul.

The United Way for Dawson County 2017 advisory board members include Clint Bearden and Hope Fettler as co-chairs, Davida Simpson as secretary, as well as Brown, Jack Conner, Emory Dooley, Dennis Godfrey, Kirby Smith, Carol Tyger and Jim Watson.