United Way of the Lowcountry reaches 62 percent of $2.8M goal

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As United Way of the Lowcountry’s 2012 fundraising campaign continues into the holidays, it’s important to give thanks and to recognize local blessings, said Clarece Walker, CEO of the local United Way.

“Working together, we all are making our Lowcountry a better place to live, work and raise our families,” she said. “To help advance the common good, we encourage people to give the gift of giving this holiday season. Every dollar counts with United Way of the Lowcountry, and local dollars help local families.”

As of last week, the United Way of the Lowcountry Board of Directors announced gifts and pledges have been received totaling $1,747,906, or 62.4  percent, of the organization’s 2012 fall goal of $2.8 million.

As part of United Way of the Lowcountry’s efforts to make the community a better, safer and healthier place to live and grow, the Wardle Family YMCA continues its swimming lesson program.

“Body Mass Index reports from the Beaufort County School District show that 37 percent of third graders and 40 percent of fifth graders were obese or overweight,” said Michael Bostwick of the Wardle Family YMCA.

“We hope to teach the fundamentals of swimming to prevent drowning and to encourage swimming as a way to reduce childhood obesity, “ he said.

“Of the 1,050 swimmers participating in swim lessons in 2011, 70 percent entered as beginners. All participants in each class received 30 minutes of instruction and time in the water to practice and learn new skills and strokes. Over 50 percent of the children were able to learn an additional stroke proficiently and advance to the next level of curriculum,” he said.

The result: Healthier children who likely perform better in the classroom, a safer community with fewer children likely to drown, and the possibility and hope of children who grow into adulthood with an interest in exercise.

A $50 donation to United Way of the Lowcountry creates an opportunity for a child to learn to swim at the Wardle Family YMCA.

 

Publix donates to United Way: With the corporate and employee contributions counted, the more than 700 employees in six Beaufort and Jasper Publix stores donated $309,446 to the United Way of the Lowcountry’s 2012 campaign. The donation is the largest gift in this year’s campaign to date, said Peter Post, chairman of the local United Way Board of Directors.