United Fund kicks off fund drive
By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER – Managing editor
Congressman Jo Bonner, who is an unfamiliar face to fundraising, was the guest speaker at the United Fund kickoff luncheon this week.
Representatives from 15 agencies met at The Ritz Friday afternoon to listen to Bonner speak about what the United Fund means to communities, and how each individual in their communities can help with the 2006 United Fund drive.
This year's goal for the drive has been set at $90,000. The substantial goal has been met three years in a row.
Bonner spoke about three individuals who are out in their communities making a difference, and related them to public entities in the country.
Fairhope native Haley Evans, 13, is a member of a Girl Scout Troop. Bonner said that the young girl, whose grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, got her troop together every Wednesday afternoon where they spent their time at the local nursing home reading, singing and playing games. After Hurricane Ivan, the young girl and her troop also held the largest and most successful blood drive for Red Cross in Baldwin County.
Sandra Day O'Conner was also a Girl Scout, Bonner said.
William ”Bubba“ McCormick lives in Wilmer Hall, an orphanage, located in Mobile. At Wilmer Hall, 85 percent of the children have been sexually abused by their parents, he said.
Despite the adversities he has faced in his life, the young boy finished his project to become an Eagle Scout. Gerald Ford was an Eagle Scout, Bonner said.
And finally, Bonner spoke about a teacher from Greenville, Ala. Margaret Thornton was a regular volunteer at her local library and school library. She took notice in a young man who was having a hard time understanding why conjugating verbs was a necessity in life.
Afraid the young man would join the statistics of high school dropouts, Thornton invited the young boy to her home and tutored him for free. The young man managed to graduate and obtain his degree in journalism and become a public official.
That young man was Bonner himself.
The fifteen agencies involved in the campaign this year are Kid One Transport; Brewton Area YMCA; American Red Cross - East Escambia County Chapter; Girl Scouts-Deep South Council; Brewton Public Library; Brewton Parks and Recreation Department; Escambia County Mental Health Association; Boy Scouts- Gulf Coast 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; Hope Place Family Resource and Christian Community Benevolent Fund.
Please send your donation to United Fund of Brewton and East Brewton, P.O. Box 34, Brewton, Ala. 36427.