Publix donates to United Way

ALBANY, Ga. -- Two area supermarkets are giving back to the community. On Wednesday, Publix store managers from Albany and Leesburg both presented a donation to United Way of Southwest Georgia on Wednesday.

Wendy Friar, campaign director for the organization, said that the donation, which was $22,600, will go toward United Way's 2011 fundraising campaign.

"(The money) will be allocated to our 22 member agencies starting in July," she said.

At the presentation was Garrett Tukes from the Leesburg store and Greg Boxx from the Albany store, each the manager of his respective location. The presentation was made to Jim Deal, chairman of United Way's Board of Directors, at the organization's office on North Westover Boulevard.

The donation is a corporate match from the George W. Jenkins Foundation, named for the founder of the Publix Supermarket chain.

"This will go along with the money the employees have pledged," Friar said. "They have raised over $30,000 (at both stores combined)." In all, more than $50,000 has been donated by Publix to the United Way of Southwest Georgia.

The organization, which serves 13 counties, is winding down its 2011 fundraising campaign. While Friar could not give an exact figure on the amount raised to date, she was able to say that it is more than $1 million.

"The campaign is going really well," she said.

In September when the campaign officially kicked off, it was announced that the fundraising goal would be $1.3 million, $100,000 more than what had been raised the previous year, when the goal was $1.5 million.

The 2012 campaign kick-off will be in September, Friar said.