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United Way of the CSRA entertained nearly 150 guests on August 12, 2015, at the Burke County United Way Campaign Kickoff luncheon held at the Augusta Technical College Waynesboro Campus. The “Western” theme of this year’s kickoff was a hit as Campaign Co-Chair Major Scott Peebles encouraged the participants to help “Round up” the community and raise $303,000 for Burke County.

Burke County High School’s Band “The Pride of Burke County” was on hand to entertain the guests. Members of the audience also previewed United Way’s 2015 Campaign Video, “Be the One”.

Lindsai Mobley-Gentry, the 2015 Campaign Cabinet Chair, thanked the Burke County Campaign Cabinet members for their hard work and presented them with a special recognition. Receiving awards were: Valerie Kirkland, City of Waynesboro; John Nichols, Purification Cellutions; Amy Nunnally, Burke County Board of Education; Ashley Roberts, Burke County Chamber of Commerce; Suzanne Sharkey, Georgia Power; and Trinetta Skinner, City of Waynesboro.

In keeping with the western theme, guest speaker Michael Searles, aka Cowboy Mike, spoke on the experience of the black cowboy in the Wild West. Mr. Searles, retired Professor of History at Georgia Regents University, has toured the country and the world giving lectures and researching the lives of modern-day black ranchers. Cowboy Mike truly brings the West to life as he dispels many of the myths surrounding the Wild West.

Major Scott Peebles, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and United Way’s 2015 Campaign Co-Chair, addressed the audience in his western wear. He presented an award to Burke County High School for being the school with the highest increase in giving. Mr. Sam Adkins, Principal, received the award for the school. An award was also presented to Mr. Greg Jones and Ms. Annie Boyd with Walmart in Burke County who were invaluable in United Way’s efforts to make Burke County’s Stuff the Bus school supply drive a huge success.

WJBF News Channel 6 News Anchors Jennie Montgomery and Brad Means presided over the event sponsored by Southern Nuclear Operating Company. Other sponsors included Capital City Bank, Augusta Technical College – Waynesboro Campus, and DJ Productions. 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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