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United Way entertained over 170 guests recently at the Burke County United Way Campaign Kickoff luncheon held at the Augusta Technical College Waynesboro campus. The “Football” theme of this year’s kickoff was a huge hit for participants as they reminisced about winning last year’s state championship title. United Way rallied its guests with a “Come On Burke County!” tagline while explaining how they could score a “touchdown” for United Way by supporting the 42 health and human service programs it funds.

Mr. Mike Hogan, CEO for John Deere Commercial Products and United Way’s 2012 Campaign Chair, stated, “United Way’s impact in the community can be seen by the success of the programs it funds and the lives that are changed in our community. The dollars raised through your company’s campaign make a difference every day.” He also said, “Our success is the countless number of lives that will be touched next year by a community working together.”

Coach Eric Parker of Burke County High School was the keynote speaker for the event. Having been a high school football coach for 22 years, he not only understands what it takes to lead a team, but to lead a team to victory. He encouraged the entire team of Burke County to work together to help those who are most in need in our community. Members of the audience also previewed the 2012 Campaign Video, “A Case for Living and Giving United”, which was produced by Seigler Productions.

Ms. Lindsai Mobley-Gentry, the 2012 Campaign Cabinet Chair, introduced the Burke County Campaign Cabinet members: Ms. Beverly Black, Capital City Bank; Mr. DeAndre Davis, Communities in Schools of Burke County; Ms. Valerie Kirkland, City of Waynesboro; Mr. John Nichols, Purification Cellutions; Ms. Amy Nunnally, Burke County Board of Education; Ms. Ashley Roberts, Burke County Chamber of Commerce; Ms. Suzanne Sharkey, Georgia Power; and Ms. Trinetta Skinner, City of Waynesboro.

Several members of Burke County High School’s JROTC Color Guard were in attendance to lead the pledge of allegiance,and in keeping with the football theme, the crowd was entertained by cheerleaders from Burke County High School and Edmond Burke Academy.

WAGT NBC 26 News Anchor, Ashley Campbell, presided over the event sponsored by Southern Nuclear Operating Company. Other sponsors included Capital City Bank and Augusta Technical College – Waynesboro Campus. The event entertained local community and business leaders, health and human service agencies, government officials, and representatives from many Burke County businesses.

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