United Fund requests assistance

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 14, 2002

The Andalusia United Fund is continuing to seek assistance in its many efforts all over Covington County, and during Monday's regular meeting of the Covington County Commission, the agency requested help from the county.

Representing the agency at the meeting was Richard Brown, the president of the Andalusia United Fund and Ron Haag, the agency's vice-president.

Brown said the United Fund is currently undergoing some positive changes this year and said the agency is also increasing its partnering agencies, with the addition of organizations such as the Opportunity House in Opp.

"The need of our community and its partner agencies is greater than ever," said Brown, also the publisher and president of The Andalusia Star-News. "The funding requests have increased significantly, over 73 percent from last year. It is a wonderful idea to think about who these agencies are and how they have helped in some of the challenges we have faced in this last year in re-organizing, and hopefully re-energizing."

Brown said many people associate the United Fund with just Andalusia, but added that many agencies associated with the United Fund that assist Andalusia and Covington County residents.

Brown said he and Haag were present to ask for the county's financial support and to also inform the county about a kickoff celebration the United Fund is having Thursday at the Andalusia Kiwanis Building. The event is scheduled to begin at 11:45 a.m. He said the meeting is not a fundraising one, but one to mainly increase community awareness in the program and to highlight many of the member agencies.

Brown said he would like to see the county commit to having a campaign for all of its employees and to fully participate in the United Fund this year.

"We have done well (in raising funds with companies), but where we have fallen very short is with employee gifts," said Brown. "Many companies give, and do so very well, but I think it sort of falls when it gets to the employees. I would ask that the county consider an internal campaign with all of the county employees."

County Commission Chairman Greg White echoed Brown's words, in that the United Fund serves several agencies all over the county. He said he might suggest a one-time effort with the employees.

Brown suggested a good plan might be for each employee to give one hour of pay per month, and said that type of campaign would benefit all of the United Fund's partner agencies.

Brown recalled a campaign held for his newspaper employees, where if there was 100 percent participation with all of the employees he pledged to kiss a pig, with that promise to kiss a pig coming to fruition.

When White asked Brown if he would kiss a pig yet again, Brown responded by saying he would if there was 100 percent participation with all county employees.

In other business discussed during Monday's meeting,

the commission approved a proclamation recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Representing the Opportunity House, which is a domestic violence-related program in Opp, at Monday's meeting were Executive Director Peggy Palmer and Robin Davis.

"(Domestic violence) is a great problem in our community and at least half of the homicides in Covington County are related to domestic abuse," said Palmer. "It is a problem which also spills over into other areas like the schools, law enforcement and the courts."

White said he definitely appreciates the efforts of the Opportunity House and other agencies which seek to address the problems of domestic abuse and work to solve those problems.

In other action taken at Monday's session, the Covington County Commission:

Approved an endorsement letter for a Conecuh/Sepulga watershed grant.

Discussed a county procurement policy. No action was taken following the discussion.

Approved an on-off premise beer license transfer for Lakeview Grocery and a new license application for Dessie May's in Wing.

Approved the purchase of a used pickup truck. Engineer Darren Capps said the truck would likely cost in the $8,000-9,000 range.

Approved the sale of used landing pads and a Dodge pickup truck.

Approved requesting bids for silt fencing.

Approved the minutes from the Sept. 23 meeting.