Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson will chair the 2017-18 campaign of the United Way of the Big Bend.

Carol Hill, the United Way development director that works in the county, said Johnson has a passion for the community and for what United Way does.

“I’m honored to serve as this year’s chair of the United Way of the Big Bend Franklin County Campaign Team.,” he said. “It’s an honor that causes my heart to abound with excitement as I consider the possibilities of what we can accomplish fundraising-wise to support the Franklin County community.

In addition to Johnson, other Franklin County trailblazers have joined the team to raise funds for the community and help with the programs and services supported by the United Way.

This year’s campaign team members include Dixie Partington, of Dixie Theatre; Renee Brannan, with the Franklin County sheriff’s office; Rose McCoy, of M and M Monument Company; and immediate past-United Way chair, Earl Solomon, of Peoples South Bank.

Last year the United Way raised $20,970 in the county, which it distributed to 14 agencies throughout the county,

The largest chunk, $3,801, went to the American Red Cross, with the next largest segment, $3,00, going to Big Bend Hospice. Another $2,500 went to the Lighthouse of the Big Bend to serve the visually impaired and the blind.

The Second Harvest of the Big Bend got $1,700, which translated into over 172,000 pounds of food distributed to food pantries across the county.

“The dollars raised in Franklin County stay in the county to help local folks who live and work in Franklin County,” said Hill.

Receiving $1,000 distributions were the Alzheimer’s Project, Boy Scouts, the Carrabelle Food Pantry, CXhildren’s Home Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Refuge House. The $500 distributions of funds went to 2-1-1 Big Bend, and Big Bend Cares, an outreach to people affected by HIV/AIDS. The Office of the Public Guardian, which serves people determined by the courts to be unable to manage their lives safely, received $200, and the Franklin’s Promise Coalition received $199.

“This year United Way of the Big Bend is celebrating a milestone anniversary of 75 years..” said Hill. “It has been able to have a continued and lasting impact in communities like Franklin County because of the tremendous support and generosity of its citizens.

“United Way will continue to build on the strong foundation of its mission which to unite the support of our citizens to make a stronger, safer, and healthier community,” she said.

For more information or to make a contribution, please contact Johnson at van@mayorvanjohnson.com or 653 1017; or Hill at (850) 487-9807 or carol@uwbb.org