VALDOSTA -- United Way of Lowndes County officials are thankful this holiday season for the many people who have contributed to their 2005 campaign.

"We are at 80 percent of our goal," said Nicole Holder, executive director of the organization. "We have raised $954,108.68 to date. It's a good thing."

With a goal of $1.2 million and less than one week left in the 2005 campaign, United Way of Lowndes County officials remain hopeful. Holder said several large donors -- Valdosta State University, City of Valdosta, and Lowndes County -- have yet to turn in their employee's pledges.

"These are typically very large accounts for us," she said. "We're excited. It looks like we are going to reach our goal."

During the past weekend's Roof Sit, Holder said RTG Media's Scott James, a radio personality with radio station WWRQ, "Rock 108," and Shari Crim, a devoted friend of Valdosta, raised $2,278 for the United Way. This marked the eighth consecutive year the two have gone to great heights for the cause, living on top of The Home Depot on Norman Drive for 36 hours.

And although the goal of the Roof Sit was to raise $5,000, Holder still considers it a success.

"We had great volunteers that day," she said. "All our agencies came out. Scott and Shari were just as dedicated as can be. Our sponsors were wonderful as well. It was a good event."

Holder said 27 agencies and 117 programs desperately need for the United Way of Lowndes County climb to 100 percent. She said they depend on the United Way of Lowndes County's annual campaign for survival. This includes Camp Relitso, Children's Advocacy Center, Community Soup Kitchen, The Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Valdosta Community Day Care Center, and Moody Relocation Assistance and Youth Center.

Those with payroll deduction forms still on their desks or those who wish to make a contribution should call the United Way of Lowndes County at (229) 242-2208.

To contact reporter Jessica Pope, please call (229) 244-3400, ext. 255.

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