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Local youths help UW reach goal with $8,500 donation

By KIMBERLY LONG
The Fulton Sun

It is not often that Callaway County United Way president Peg Dzicek is left stunned, but local students managed to acheive that feat Friday afternoon.

During the kickoff of the seventh-annual United Way fundraiser and Radiothon held Friday in the Wal-Mart Supercenter parking lot, 12 Callaway County schools presented the UW agency with more than $8,500 in an effort to help local families in need.

What's more impressive is that the students' contribution nearly doubled what the schools collected for the 2005 campaign.

“I'm absolutely blown away, and so impressed with each and every child that gave,” said UW president Peg Dzicek during Friday's fundraising festivity.

The money, Dzicek said, helped move the UW thermometer a third of the way closer to it's $220,000 goal.

Each school held a penny drive and challenged individual classes to raise the most money with the incentive that they could win a free pizza party at UW's expense.

McIntire Elementary School raised the most money, collecting $1,660, while Bush Accelerated School piled up $1,329.50 in donations.

“This year, we had a record number of schools that did a spectacular job,” UW executive director Kathy Richey Liddle said of the students' efforts. “We're really proud of the young people in our community.”

Other schools and the amounts they collected included: North Callaway High School, $934.71; Auxvasse Elementary School, $919; Fulton Middle School, $854; Fulton High School, $751.21; Bartley Elementary School, $273.61; Williamsburg Elementary School, $226.72; and Fulton Academy, $166.34.

The South Callaway School District - with participation from its Early Childhood Learning Center, kindergarten through third grade and students at South Callaway Academy - brought in more than $1,475.

Youths outside the school system also showed their community spirit. Attired in his uniform, Eagle Scout William Schultz helped serve customers for local vendor Allen Finke - who donated all of the proceeds he made Friday from his kettle corn business to United Way.

This is the fourth year Schultz, a homeschooled student from Williamsburg, has offered his services.

Traditionally, United Way also invites local businesses to help set the pace of its fundraising campaign that generally runs through December.

This year's pace setters - The Callaway Bank, Central Bank and Ovid Bell Press - impressed UW officials with a $58,277 donation.

“It's been fabulous,” Richie Liddle said, visually showing her appreciation. As she glanced at the red thermometer that had reached the 32 percent mark by midday, she added, “That's not a bad start for the first day.”

As the Radiothon continued, crowds moved about in spurts, enjoying UW activities including a car and motorcycle show and silent auction featuring 98 items donated by area merchants, organizations and individuals.

The event was set to conclude at 10 p.m. with the final tally of the auction proceeds and the announcement of the motorcycle and car show winners.

Those results will be published at a later date.

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