Call it his special-occasion tie.
"I wear this tie when they ask me to," said Rick Toole, the United Way of the CSRA's campaign chairman, of the white United Way "thermometer tie," which charts the progress of this year's campaign.
As of Dec. 19, the campaign had raised 85 percent of its $4.2 million goal or $3,573,326 to fund 22 agencies that assist people living in 12 Georgia and 3 South Carolina counties, including Richmond, Columbia and Aiken.
"We try to do something to make it fun and interesting for the chairman," said Jo Endres Maypole, president of the United Way of the CSRA.
Each week, thermometers around town and the one on Toole's tie are updated in red to reflect the totals received.
Although the campaign kicked off on Aug. 26, companies are still holding their own fund raisers through January. Donations are expected to continue to come in until the organization's annual meeting Feb. 25.
United Way officials are pleased with the way this year's campaign is going.
"We're real excited about the campaign," said Toole, who wears the tie when he speaks at events for the United Way.
Despite corporate downsizing and other negatives in the economy, the campaign is doing well, he said.
Staff members came up with the idea of creating the special thermometer tie and United Way volunteer and artist MaLea Shved designed it.
For more information on the United Way, call 724-5544. Donations may be mailed to the United Way of the CSRA, P.O. Box 1724, Augusta, GA 30903.
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