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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — The annual anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington gave dozens of volunteers a chance to help their community today.

The United Way of Lowndes County kicked off its fall fund-raising campaign with its annual Day to Care. The group which benefits 19 social service programs in Lowndes County will set its annual goal by the end of the month.

Before today’s kick off luncheon, more than 160 United Way volunteers from businesses, industry, MUW and Columbus Air Force Base, local government and others contributed their time and skills to work on projects at local non-profit agencies in observance of 9/11. Volunteer projects ranged from painting and repairs, organizing disaster supplies and food pantries, and yard work at the homes of elderly and disabled residents.

The fund drive that runs from Sept. 11 through Thanksgiving supports 19 non-profit organizations that serve Lowndes County in myriad ways – crisis intervention for hardworking families, disaster relief, adult education, programs that support health and quality of life, suicide prevention, shelter for abused children, and youth programs that instill values and enable children to reach their highest potential.

Kevin Stafford, chair of the 2013 Pacesetters Fundraising Campaign, reported on the success of the preliminary campaign that began on July 18 and concluded Aug. 29. Stafford noted the annual Pacesetter campaign is ahead of where it was at the same time last year.

The kick-off presentation was made by Glenn Lautzenheizer, a long-time resident of Lowndes County who has served as a volunteer in many capacities throughout the community.  He stressed the impact of United Way funding on the success of local organizations being able to carry out their missions of service.

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