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United Way kicks off new campaign, presents awards

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LEBANON -- Supporters of United Way of Wilson County gathered early Wednesday morning at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center to say thank you to recent donors and to kick-off the newest campaign.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto told the crowd of nearly 100 that he was a long-time supporter of United Way.

Theyre one of the oldest non-profits in Wilson County, Hutto told the crowd, and issued a challenge to everyone to encourage someone else, or many others, to be a part of United Way by donating this year.

Hutto cited education as one of the primary focuses of United Way and noted that in these difficult economic times, it takes others, like United Way, to join in and support education.

This annual event was created to not only raise awareness of United Way, but to celebrate the annual fund raising drives Kick Off as well as to thank donors.The event is made possible, not through pledges, but rather through corporate sponsorships.

This years event was sponsored by Greg Dugdale, CedarStone Bank, Farmers & Merchants Bank, First Freedom Bank, Lee & Lee Attorneys at Law, Pinnacle Bank, Publix, SunTrust, Visionary Design Group and Wilson Bank & Trust.

The most prestigious of awards went to the Wilson County School System. The Lawrence and Peggy West Community Support Award is named after Lawrence and Peggy West, founders of Custom Packaging, Inc. in Lebanon. The Wests believed strongly in giving back to their community and instilled their beliefs in family and employees.

Financial support of United Way stays in Wilson County to help people in need, to support educational programs, provide services to children, senior citizens, people in need of emergency assistance and more. To make a donation, visit www.unitedwaywilsoncounty.com.

Accepting the Gold Award for campaigns with a per-capita gift of $100 or more are, from left, Luke Winchester of First Freedom Bank, Ann Woodard of F&M Bank, Jackie Cowden of Custom Packaging, Inc., Andrea Wilke of Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce; Roger Wells of The Lebanon Democrat; and Linda Spencer of United Way of Wilson County. Not pictured are representatives from Bank of America, Publix and Regions.

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