Set for Nov. 17 at 9 a.m., the Turkey Trot starts and finishes at the Cartersville Soccer Complex, behind Cartersville Middle School, at 152 Milner Road in Cartersville. Entrance fees for the rain-or-shine event are $25 per person. To honor their achievements, the top overall male and female finishers will receive trophies and the winners of each age group will be presented with a frozen turkey.
“There’s two parts to it,” said John Cremers of Gerdau, referring to the reason the corporation continues to sponsor the event. “One is to support the United Way and help them. This is their largest fundraiser they have as far as the amount of people involved. So we wanted to help them so that the profits from this can go straight to the partner agencies the United Way has.
“The other part of it is we’ve been encouraging our folks with wellness campaigns these last few years and this gives our people an opportunity at the plant to participate in 5K events, to get them thinking about wellness.”
Continuing through Nov. 30, the United Way campaign primarily is generating funds through payroll deductions, which enables employees to donate a minimal amount yearlong, with a portion of their paycheck designated to the Cartersville organization.
“This year we have upped our goal from last year,” said Brenda Morehouse, president of the United Way of Bartow County. “Last year it was $475,000. So we upped it $25,000. It’s now at $500,000. This year we kind of did a community effort campaign, labeling it the ‘Be the Change Campaign.’ We didn’t really specify a single person as campaign chair [because it was] a community impact campaign.
“... We were just looking really to reach out to people, and get them excited about doing a United Way campaign, that have not done United Way campaigns and also reaching out to people that have been doing United Way campaigns and reminding them about the options of designating their money here to Cartersville, Ga., if there’s someone who works for a corporation that’s main office maybe falls under the metro-Atlanta umbrella. So we are definitely just bringing awareness to the needs here in Bartow County and wanting to move forward and feeling like with the economy starting to pick up that we would be able to increase our goal and it’s looking like we should be able to make our goal just fine. We’re already at 80 percent.”
Funds raised through the campaign will be dispersed, based on need, to United Way’s 16 agencies: AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia, Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, Bartow County 4-H Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, Bartow Civil Air Patrol, American Red Cross, Christian League for Battered Women, New Beginnings Food Outreach, The Salvation Army, Good Shepherd Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Hickory Log Vocational School, North Bartow Community Services, Bartow Health Access, Girl Scouts Division of Bartow County and Advocates for Children. Combined, the nonprofits serve about 60,000 people each year.
“... United Way, it’s not just a single charity. It touches many different corners of Bartow County,” Cremers said, referring to the United Way, one of the organizations Gerdau supports with its social responsibility program. “It helps ... children [through organizations, such as] Boys & Girls Club and Advocates and Civil Air Patrol.
“It also supports disaster relief with American Red Cross and then it’s also long-term help like Salvation Army and Hickory Log. It [helps] so many different portions of the community. It’s really an important agency to support.”
For more information about the United Way, call 770-386-1677 or visit www.bartowliveunited.org. Participants also can sign up today for the Turkey Trot 5K online by visiting www.active.com/running/cartersville-ga/turkey-trot-5k-2012.