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The United Way of the Big Bend launches its annual campaign

Several people sit in an auditorium facing a stage with a seated man and woman.
Tom Flanigan
United Way of the Big Bend Board Chair Erik Davis (on the left) and CEO Berneice Cox stage a discussion of the organization's priorities and programs during the campaign kickoff luncheon at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee.

United Way of the Big Bend officials kicked off a new fundraising effort on Wednesday, Sept. 14. The organization's annual community meeting filled the arena of Tallahassee's Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.

The luncheon included a screening of a video, in which people from nonprofit service groups praised the help that flows from the United Way.

"And if it wasn't for the United Way, we'd be in a real bind," exclaimed one agency representative, one of several tapped to talk about the impact of the funding that is solicited, collected and distributed by the United Way.

United Way President and CEO Berneice Cox was delighted at the "full-house" turnout.

"Well, it actually turned out to be around 425 (people) who registered. That's really good! That's well beyond where we were last year. We were sold out this year and we're real happy to see the interest in United Way of the Big Bend."

In recent years, the regional United Way has focused its attention on helping overcome poverty and inequality in the eight-county region. That includes providing resources for housing, early learning, safety nets, mental and physical health, and skills development.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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