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Kicking off the United Way of Chelsea annual giving campaign.

Did you help the United Way of Chelsea kick off this year’s fundraising campaign at the home football game on Sept. 14 by feeding a pig or two, or maybe even all eight?

Rob Turner makes a donation.

Featured were the four new pigs from member agencies — FIA, SENIORita Petunia, WAVErly and Where Do You Fit In — designed by folks from Faith in Action, the Chelsea Senior Center, WAVE and the St. Louis Center, respectively. These are four of the member organizations that receive funds from the local United Way chapter.

Also in attendance were four pigs from last year’s kick-off: Bulldawg, Daisy and Dottie and an unnamed pig from the Chelsea School District.

“This is a friendly competition between us,” said Scott Cooper of Sylvan Township who was hawking the WAVErly pig of the local bus service. “This is for community awareness for all of these community groups and what they do,” he said.

Teresa Zigman, president of the board, said last year the group raised $100,000 and although they haven’t decided on an exact goal for the new campaign, “We’d like to see it grow this year,” she said.

This year’s honorary campaign chairmen are Cindy and John Mitchell, she said.

The Feed The Pig display this year followed a successful debut of the clever idea that launched last year.

There were six pigs last year, she said, and four new pigs were designed for the kick-off this year. (The winning pig and those who designed it, will be highlighted in a story in Chelsea Update once each pig’s “take” for the night is determined.)

Feeding the pig to build a stronger community.

“It’s more about awareness of the campaign and the community organizations tonight,” Zigman said, of the kick-off.

In October, area businesses will be contacted about participating in company-wide campaigns to assist the cause.

Using the theme “Give Where You Live,” the money that’s raised will be given to local organizations.

The Chelsea United Way is a locally run chapter of the United Way of America (UWA) umbrella brand, according to its Website. A volunteer board of 21 directors oversees “our strategic direction and steers our financial decisions.”

Scott Cooper and WAVErly.

“We support 13 member agencies, and we review these agencies each year to ensure they do the best possible work in the community,” according to the Website. The agencies are evaluated on four basic criteria: food/clothing, healthcare, transportation, and senior support.

The Chelsea United Way contributes more than 90 percent of its donations to its member agencies, according the the Website. More than 35 percent of the donations come from from individuals in the community and 65 percent of the donations come from local businesses, either through campaigns that they run for the United Way or through direct donations, according to information from the group.

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