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United Way of Madison County will kick off its fall campaign season by hosting free pancake breakfasts at the four county farmers market venues.

With this year’s campaign, United Way is striving for growth not just in money raised but also in the number of advocates and volunteers working on behalf of the community. “We thought this would be a good way to reach people that don’t usually attend a kick off,” said Nancy Vaughan, president of United Way of Madison County. “The farmers market venues are a wonderful community gathering place and that’s what we want to support,” she added.

The first event will be Saturday morning, August 26, at the Elwood Antique Mall & Flea Market 10900 IN-37.  The venue operates from 8 a.m. to noon and is the host of the Elwood Farmers Market. Alexandria’s market event will be a pancake dinner from 3 – 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8 at Beulah Park. The other events will also be on the mornings of Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Pendleton Farmers Market in Falls Park and Saturday, Sept. 23 during the Anderson City Market at Park Place Community Center.

“We want people to come out and connect with others in the community, learn about the work of United Way to improve lives here, and have fun,” said Vaughan. Participants will have an opportunity to participate in a scavenger hunt to enter a prize drawing. “We hope this will be a fun way to learn and also encourage people to engage with the other vendors at the markets,” she said.

Beth Tharp, CEO of Community Hospital Anderson, serves as 2017 Campaign Chair. She leads a volunteer campaign cabinet that includes Noah Rosen, corporate president of Kleenco, who serves as Corporate Division Chair, Brett Spangler, owner of Innovative Small Business Solutions, and Obadiah Smith, Lieutenant Colonel serving as chaplain at Grissom Air Force Base, as co-chairs of Individual Gifts Division. Team leaders include Greg Bramwell, Jonathon Cook, Brian Donahue, Beth Erskine, Beverly Joyce, Mike Schroyer and Keith Trent.

The 2017 United Way campaign goal of $800,091 will support a network of programs and services offered with partner organizations that improve the health, education and financial stability for everyone.

“United Way has always been about the power of what can be accomplished in our community when we work together with a shared goal. The annual campaign is about raising money but that is only the means to helping as many families as possible who are in crisis,” said Kim Williams, vice president for resource development for United Way of Madison County.