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By BILL CRIST – Publisher

By Staff
Despite some last minute shuffling of the program, the United Way of Brewton and East Brewton kicked off its annual fundraising campaign last week with a luncheon. After writing checks totaling $71,000 to 13 local agencies in 2002, the board set a goal of $80,000 for this year's campaign.
Part of the reason for the increased goal is that the Board has added two new agencies to the list that this year's campaign will benefit.
Other agencies that will receive funding this year are the American Red Cross of East Escambia County, Brewton Area YMCA, Brewton Parks and Recreation Dept., Escambia County Mental Health Association, Boy Scouts-Gulf Coast Council, Girl Scouts-Deep South Council, East Brewton Youth Sports, Southwest Alabama Mental Health/Mental Retardation Board, Escambia County Cooperative Library System, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Disabled Children and Adults-Brewton Chapter and the Salvation Army.
Dan Shaddock, the new CEO at the Brewton Area YMCA was scheduled to speak to the lunch group, which included agency representatives as well as area business and civic leaders. Hurricane Lili had other plans, though, and Shaddock missed the meeting to be with his wife in Baton Rouge.
He did send a message to the group on the morning of the luncheon.
The United Way takes an unusual approach to fund raising and fund distribution. Rather than collecting money and sending it out of town for a distant staff to compile and distribute, the local board or directors decides which local agencies will receive funds and also how much they will receive. The decisions are based on funding requests made in the spring and the amount of money actually raised in the fall. The money is then sent directly to those agencies.
BankTrust of Brewton sponsored this year's luncheon.
The campaign, which officially began at the lunch, will run through Friday, Nov. 22. Over $5,000 has already been donated or pledged for this year's campaign.