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County steps up for charities

Posted: June 10, 2014 - 11:38pm  |  Updated: June 11, 2014 - 1:14am

It appears that congratulations are in order for a number of folks in Columbia County.

First on the list is Columbia County schools Superintendent Sandra Carraway who danced her way into the People’s Choice award at the recent Dancing Stars of Augusta event on Friday at the Augusta Convention Center.

For her efforts, Carraway raised more than $38,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association Georgia Chapter, helping to make this a record year for the Augusta Region.

Event coordinator Dee Dee Kurilla said donations from the event were approaching $240,000, and she hoped they would top that amount.

Before you get the idea that Carraway is the area’s Cyd Charisse, please understand that the People’s Choice award recognizes skill in the fundraising arena, not on the dance floor. (Although, I’m told she’s no slouch there either.) Every dollar raised was a vote in her favor, not that there is anything wrong with that. That was the purpose of the event after all.

The most decorated dancer of the night was Cassidy Harris, with the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. Harris received the Judge’s Award for highest dance scores, as well as raising about $30,000 herself. In fact, a number of dancers with Columbia County connections kicked in quite a bit to the total haul for Friday’s event.

Columbia County Development Authority Director Robbie Bennett, Evans insurance agent Bobby Gagnon, and Janeabeth Wells, executive assistant to county Administrator Scott Johnson, contributed more than $50,000 to the fundraising effort (which is still going on if you’ve been slow to donate, by the way).

But they aren’t the only Columbia County people who have been stepping up to the plate for those in need.

It recently slipped by me that office of Columbia County Superior Court Judge James Blanchard was honored by state Attorney General Sam Olens their efforts to collect food for the needy.

According to Morris News Service chief Walter Jones, 277 law firms in 45 Georgia cities collected the equivalent of 1.14 million pounds for the seven regional food banks in the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy’s two-week food drive in May. The food drive was sponsored by Olens and the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia.

Blanchard collected the most per person in the legal-organizations category – about 5,062 pounds of food per staff member. In addition to collecting packaged foods, donors also got credit for four pounds food for every dollar of cash.

Blanchard’s donations will help the Golden Harvest Food Bank in Augusta. In all, the food drive will result in about 950,000 meals across the state this summer.

Congratulations and thanks to all you good people doing great things.

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