United Way Kickoff tonight

Published 11:13 pm Monday, August 16, 2010

When the Pike County United Way kicks off its annual fundraising campaign, it does so in a big way.

The fun, fellowship, entertainment and enlightenment will get under way at 6 p.m. tonight at Cattleman Park and the public is invited to be a part of the community wide event.

“All 17 agencies that are supported by the Pike County United Way will have booths at the Kickoff,” said Tonya Gibson, Pike County United Way executive director. “This is the best place and the best way to learn about the agencies that are supported by the United Way and the important role they play in our community. There only a few people in Pike County that are not touched, directly or indirectly, by at least one of these agencies.”

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The Troy Recreation tournament softball and baseball teams will be special guests at the Pike County United Way Kickoff.

“This is a good time for the community to congratulate these young athletes who represented Troy and Pike County so well during the tournament season,” Gibson said. “We also have an outstanding lineup of entertainment featuring local favorites, the Jubilee Chorus and SheBANG!, and introducing singer/songwriter Staley Pensinger from Blue Springs.”

Staley Pensinger is a rising young star who has already made quite a name for herself in the Wiregrass area.

“We are proud to have Staley on stage at the Kickoff and think that people of all ages will enjoy this talented, young country music singer,” Gibson said.

Pensinger is a 16-year-old junior at Dixie Academy but she has been singing publicly for 14 years.

“I started singing at church when I was two years old. I was so little that I had to hold on to the pulpit,” she said, laughing. “I’ve always loved to sing and I took piano lessons for a while but I never really got into that. When I was 10 years old, I started to write songs and, when I was 12, I taught myself to play the guitar and started writing country music.”

Pensinger sings “old country” and “new country.”

“I sing George Jones and I sing Lady Antebellum” Pensinger said.

“At the Pike County United Way Kickoff, I’ll sing some original songs but I’ll also sing all around the board.”

Pensinger performed last weekend at the Ozark Civic Center. She is also heard on Dothan and Ozark radio stations.

“We invite everyone to come out tonight, visit the booths and enjoy the entertainment, food and fellowship that makes the Pike County United Way Kickoff such a great event,” Gibson said. “Then, we encourage everyone to support these 17 local agencies with donations to the United Way.”

All of the money raised by the Pike County United Way campaign stays in Pike County with the exception of the contributions to the Boy Scouts. Those funds come back in support of the operation of Camp Alaflo, which is the local Boy Scout camp near Enterprise.

“The United Way is local people helping friends and neighbors,” Gibson said. “We need everybody working together during these difficult economic times. So join us in supporting the Pike County United Way campaign.”