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United Fund goal set at #036;185,000

An enthusiastic crowd gathered Thursday night at the Kiwanis Community Center in Andalusia to help kick-off the first ever Covington County United Fund drive. Neither stormy weather nor technical difficulties could keep the enthusiasm of the crowd down as they received the challenge from Terry Powell, 2004 Covington County United Fund Campaign Chairman; Jerry Bynum, CEO of Camp ASSCA; Jim Krudop, 2003 Andalusia United Fund Campaign Chairman and Ron Haag, president of the Covington County United Fund.

After the crowd enjoyed time getting to know the various member agencies and learning about the valuable services they provide, the time to get serious about raising funds to help the people of Covington County came.

Haag told the gathering that the reason for the United Fund was simple - "To provide financial resources to member sources so they can in turn provide for the needs of all of Covington County."

And that was the prevailing theme throughout the night.

Krudop told the crowd the Covington County United Fund was the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication from people all over Covington County, and meant

that Covington County was in store for better things.

" We've been working together on this (uniting the former Andalusia and Opp United Funds) on many fronts," Krudop said. "This is us, as a county working together even more. This is for Covington County and its people."

Powell then explained why it is so important for people to contribute to this year's fund drive, and how it's going to reach people all over Covington County.

"Because of a vote of the people a few weeks ago, the legislators are in the process of cutting non-state agencies' funding," he said. "Now, we have to step up. It's going to require the efforts of the people - all of us - to continue to help these member agencies provide the services that are so important to Covington County.

"Why Š it's just the right time to do it," he continued before telling a story about why it is the right time and thing to contribute to the fund. "Your gift is tax deductible, but your reward is the satisfaction gained from knowing you have helped others."

Bynum, the keynote speaker was then introduced and talked about the importance of funds such as the Covington County United Fund and the role they play in significantly improving the lives of others.

He made his point clear to all when he talked about a little girl who had been a camper at Camp ASCCA several years back. A little girl who had no arms or legs - but still was able to enjoy a normal summer camp experience, thanks in large part to the charitable contributions of a group of students in Alexander City. He told of a dance-a-thon where the students raised money to help send kids to Camp ASCCA several years back, and of the dedicated spirit those kids had to seeing physically challenged children participate in normal camp activities.

"The little girl told us, 'With everyone helping, I accomplished the most important thing in my life,'" he said referring to the girl's learning to swim and eventually dropping off of a diving board at the camp's pool. "She said it all Š all of us working together, we can accomplish a lot. Let's not fail."

Powell announced the goal for this year's fund drive - $185,000.

"I have every confidence we'll reach that goal," Powell said. "Let's open our eyes, let's look around and see the needs, and let's meet those needs."