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United Way fundraiser continues

ALBANY -- The United Way of Southwest Georgia is inching closer to its fundraising goal as the new year opens.

"We think it's all going to come together in the next few months," said Brooke Willoughby, marketing and fundraising director for the organization.

The organization is aiming for the $1.5 million mark in its fundraising efforts, which would be a $300,000 increase over what it realized last year. It would also equal the $1.5 million United Way raised in its 2007 campaign.

On Tueday, The Albany Herald was published on peach-colored paper as part of a promotion to raise funds for United Way. The Herald will donate to the organization a percentage of the revenue generated by that peach edition, which featured special advertisements taken out by businesses, colleges and government boards in support of United Way, Herald Advertising Director Tami Abbott said.

Also, representatives of The Herald and United Way accepted donations at Tuesday morning at Palmyra Medical Center and all day at the food court Albany Mall. While there were only few on-site donations, United Way officials are optimistic the effort will pay off in the long run since many people picked up brochures explaining United Way's work and programs.

"We had a lot of people interested in what (the United Way) does," Willoughby said.

United Way kicked off their fundraising campaign in September. By then, 20 percent of the organization's $1.5 million goal had been met by three pacesetter companies in the community -- Tara Foods, Palmyra Medical Center and Procter & Gamble.

United Way serves nearly 30 agencies in 12 counties by securing funds for health and human services needs for clients associated with those partner agencies. The organization re-invests about 90 cents of every dollar back into community service programs based within the service area.