K.C. Moreland, left to right, Gloria Jones, Sharon Seay and Synethia Bennett, all employees at International Paper’s Riverside facility, pose for a photo celebrating the $162,482 raised for the United Way.--United Way
K.C. Moreland, left to right, Gloria Jones, Sharon Seay and Synethia Bennett, all employees at International Paper’s Riverside facility, pose for a photo celebrating the $162,482 raised for the United Way.-- United Way

Employees set the bar high in United Way drive

Published 11:32pm Saturday, October 19, 2013

A recent donation to the United Way of Selma and Dallas County has local United Way leaders both stunned and grateful at the same time.

In a press release this week, International Paper Riverdale Mill training manager Pam Frasier announced employees at the Riverdale had exceeded their goal, and that a donation match from International Power pushed the total amount even higher.

“International Paper Riverdale Mill exceeded its $100,000 goal and raised $101,551 in the 2013 United Way campaign,” Fraiser announced. “When combined with the $0.60 on the dollar company match, this will bring the total community contribution to $162,482.”

Jeff Cothran, executive director of the United Way of Selma and Dallas County, has been working with the United Way for 20 years and said this donation, while impressive, is par for the course when concerning donations from IP.

“I was just gob smacked over the donation amount, but they are the biggest giver annually to the United Way of Selma and Dallas County,” Cothran said.

Cothran said donations from IP regularly account for 35 to 40 percent of donations to the United Way of Selma and Dallas County.

“A lot of companies think when they cut a pay check they are helping the community by providing jobs, and that’s true. But International Paper really has gone over and above because they start and support organizations like the United Way,” Cothran said.

Jim Bruce, manager at the Riverdale Mill, said employees there have always prided themselves on doing what they can to better the communities around them.

“Riverdale Mill employees have a strong tradition of supporting United Way and the good work it funds throughout the area, and our campaign committee members know it is important and encourage their co-workers to give,” Bruce said.

He added this money will go a long way toward bettering the lives of those in need in the local community.

“That money goes right back into our community to help people who are in need right here in Selma and Dallas County,” Cothran said. “They are huge and huge for us year after year, and they came into town with the intention of building the community through their partnership with the United Way, and with so many other ways.”

Cothran said that while the United Way of Selma and Dallas County does not have a specific goal for how much money to raise this year, this donation helps them to either reach or surpass last year’s total.

“We don’t have a published goal, but I can say we raised about $325,000 last year and we are hoping to raise that much if not more this year,” Cothran said.

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