United Way kicks off annual campaign at Myers Market

Sunday, September 28, 2014
Enjoying the morning at the United Way of Putnam County kick-off event Saturday, Witten Eastham shows off his artistic skills at the pumpkin decorating table. The event at Myers Market kicked off not only the United Way's annual fundraising drive, but the United We Dine event, with Myers donating a portion of its proceeds to the United Way. Witten is the son Nick and Marcy Eastham of Belle Union. (Photo by JARED JERNAGAN)

To kick off the 2014-15 United Way of Putnam County campaign, Director Jennifer Edwards was looking to do something different.

The breakfast the organization has used in the past didn't exactly generate excitement, and it also didn't allow for kids to be involved.

Instead, the United Way partnered with Myers Market, which was celebrating its first anniversary, for a kickoff event Saturday that incorporated barbecue, family fun and giving back.

Edwards said there had been talk of a barbecue competition, but the event was scaled back to coincide with Myers' first anniversary celebration, which involved the downtown eatery and market serving breakfast, a barbecue lunch and dinner.

"I'm hoping that we'll be able to grow on it for next year and we'll be able to have a barbecue competition among vendors," Edwards said.

Besides the good food from Myers, family activities including pumpkin decorating, face painting, a sports challenge activity center, a photo booth cotton candy, popcorn and a scavenger hunt gave the event a street fair atmosphere. Other activities included a WGRE broadcast and music from Anderson Entertainment.

Of course, the most important aspect for the United Way and its community partners was the announcement of the 2014-15 fundraising goal, which is $175,000. The United Way also recognized its Pacesetter donors for this campaign, those organizations that have already made pledges or donations to the annual effort.

The 2014-15 Pacesetters include Alpha Phi and Sigma Chi of DePauw University, Duke Energy, UPS and Old National Bank.

The event also marked the kick-off of the annual United We Dine event, with Myers Market donating a portion of its proceeds for the day to the United Way of Putnam County.

United We Dine will continue throughout the month of October with area restaurants designating a portion of a selected day's participation. Restaurants that would like to participate to support United Way and the Putnam County community may contact the local United Way office at 653-5638.

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