United Way closer to fund-raising goal

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 14, 2000

NATCHEZ — United Way pledges are up to about 60 percent of the goal two months into the campaign — thanks, in part, to the contributions of a company holding its first pledge drive this year. Employees at Titan Tire of Natchez raised $21,000 for the United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou, which has 25 area agencies under its umbrella.

Titan Tire General Manager Dave Fines said he believes it is important for industries to help contribute to United Way, which supports local service organizations such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Guardian Shelter and the Families First Resource Center.

&uot;Obviously the manufacturing facilities offer some of the best jobs in town,&uot; Fines said. &uot;Our people are working hard, and they want to help with the community by giving back.&uot;

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Employees at the tire plant have contributed to United Way in the past, but this is the first time Titan — which took over the plant two years ago — has taken part in the campaign.

&uot;We’re real proud of our employees,&uot; Fine said.

United Way director Monica Lynch said she is pleased with the progress of the campaign, which has raised $192,977 so far.

The goal this year is $320,000, and the campaign will wind down around Thanksgiving.

Other industries reporting their contributions in the past few weeks include:

Natchez Regional Medical Center, $10,553. That amount is up $4,000 from last year, Lynch said.

International Paper, whose employees’ and corporate contribution topped $79,000.

Lynch said United Way officials had been concerned about the usually strong contributions from IP’s Natchez mill, which went up for sale this year.

But with contributions from IP&160;workers up $8,000 over last year, United Way didn’t have much to worry about, she said.

Callon Petroleum, which nearly doubled its contribution to $8,931.

Britton & Koontz First National Bank, which contributed $11,800.

Several of the &uot;big hitters&uot; are still completing their corporate campaigns, Lynch said.

And she is also working to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to contribute.