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Giving cures SCUFFY 'fever'
Angela Gill is hoping that local residents will catch a fever - SCUFFY fever, that is - and she has the cure.
In a skit on Wednesday during the kickoff breakfast at Occasions Banquet Hall, Gill used John Hartnett Jr. as a patient suffering from SCUFFY fever, and she was the doctor who provided the cure - filling out a pledge card to donate money to the agency's annual fund.
This simple skit was intended to remind everyone in attendance at the kickoff breakfast that raising enough money to meet this year's goal - $754,000 - will require people to catch Gill's enthusiasm and reach deeply into their pockets. As chairperson of the 2007 drive, Gill believes in the mission of Shelby County United Fund For You, which is to raise money to support important social service agencies in the community.
It is traditional for the drive chairs to come up with a theme that ties in with their occupations, and since Gill is the executive director of the Major Hospital Foundation, she settled on the SCUFFY fever approach.
The event's guest speaker, WTHR meteorologist Chuck Lofton, praised Shelby County for its ability to raise so much money for local groups from a county with a population of 43,000. He talked about his own experiences with volunteerism and the importance of "servant leadership."
Lofton told the crowd to remember that, "In time of need, it is not about me. Some people are going through a storm (of trouble), and by helping others, you can get joy and purpose in your own life."
An important part of every kickoff is announcing the results of the Pacesetter drive and providing recognition to the groups involved for their efforts. The Pacesetters start their pledge drive prior to the kickoff, and the funds that they raise are used to "prime the pump" so that a portion of the yearly goal has been raised before the drive officially begins.
According to Arthur Spriggs, executive director of SCUFFY, "This way, we aren't starting from zero."
Far from beginning the 53rd annual campaign with a zero balance, this year's Pacesetters raised a total of $113,314.97 - 15 percent of the $754,000 goal for 2007.
This year's Pacesetters range in size from less than 20 employees to more than 600 and reported the following pledges at Wednesday's kickoff breakfast: the city of Shelbyville, $4,732.30; PK USA - which increased its employee contributions by 300 percent from last year - $23,453.68; Ryobi Die Casting, $62,688.08; Shelby County Bank, $7,010.72; Triton Central High School, $782.51; and Yushiro Manufacturing American Inc. (Yuma Industries), $14,647.68.
Pacesetters chairmen Dr. David Clark and Chris King were pleased with the results of this year's amounts; the total represents a large increase from last year's Pacesetters total of $85,608.71. But King said that the purpose of the Pacesetters campaign is "not to raise huge sums of money in advance, but to demonstrate to the community that any employer, regardless of pay scale or type of business, can conduct an employee campaign."
Co-chairman Clark, who is also the president of the SCUFFY board of directors, stated that the Pacesetters are important because they "set an example for the rest of the community and provide momentum and enthusiasm to the start of the campaign."
This year's kickoff did not coincide with the traditional Giving from the Heart campaign in which employees from various schools and companies work for one of the member agencies during the day prior to the kickoff. Spriggs said that method seemed to make the day too full, and the SCUFFY board thought that changing the concept to Giving from the Heart Week, instead of just one day, might encourage more companies and employees to participate.
Packets of information will now be distributed to all area businesses, schools and organizations, and all of the pledge cards are due back by April 20. A dinner at the Knights of Columbus on May 2 will then celebrate the end of the drive and unveil the amount that the community has raised.
Gill and her co-chairman, Bob Knecht, are naturally looking at the projected $754,000 goal with a measure of apprehension. SCUFFY has always meet its goal, and even succeeded last year after Doug Brown was able to gather enough last-minute donations to meet the $750,000 goal.
"I sure don't want to be the first drive chairman not to reach the goal," Gill said.
Money from the SCUFFY campaign helps to fund the following member agencies that serve Shelby County: Boy Scouts, Shelbyville Boys Club, the Shelby County Cancer Association, Project Clothes for Kinds, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts; Head Start, Meals on Wheels, The Salvation Army, Shelby Community Health Center, Shelby Senior Services, USO and Turning Point.
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