Jo Maypole has attended her share of United Way kickoff celebrations, but this one will be a little different for her.
"My role is one behind the scenes," said Mrs. Maypole, who took over as the president of the United Way of the CSRA on April 1. "It will be nice to be the one blowing up the balloons."
And there will be lots of red, white and blue balloons Monday as the United Way begins its fund-raising campaign at 11:30 a.m. at Bell Auditorium.
A longtime United Way volunteer and former board chairwoman, Mrs. Maypole said she likes her new role.
"It's a nice feeling to let the volunteer leadership be at the podium" at the kickoff, she said.
At the kickoff luncheon, the organization, which funds 22 health and human service agencies, will announce its goal for the year. Also, the luncheon will include a parade of inspirational stories from its agencies.
Last year, the organization raised $3.9 million to support charities such as the Augusta chapter of the American Red Cross, Central Savannah River Girl Scout Council and Salvation Army.
This year's goal will be slightly higher than what was raised in 1999, she said.
"I'm cautiously optimistic about this campaign," she said. "We're not venturing to try anything different."
The successful methods of fund raising for the United Way have included targeting employees of larger companies through workplace campaigns and payroll deductions.
More of an emphasis will be placed on reaching smaller businesses and professionals such as physicians, attorneys and accountants. "We haven't always gotten out and gone in and asked them,"Mrs. Maypole said.
The United Way is putting together a group of peer volunteers so physicians will call on other physicians and accountants will meet with other accountants to promote the organization.
Tickets to the luncheon cost $15. For more information, call 724-5544.
Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at (803) 441-6927.