County teams up for parade

A new United Way campaign video has lots of people teaming up for Jackson County.

More than 150 community members showed up early Saturday morning at Seymour High School to stage a parade for the video.

There were representatives from local businesses and industries, police and firefighters, high school athletes, dancers, service clubs and Boy Scout groups.

Leading the way was campaign chairman and Seymour High School Principal Greg Prange.

In the footage, Prange drives around the high school campus with JCB mascot Sammy the Saver riding shotgun. The two encouraged others to follow in support of United Way’s team. It’s not long before everyone is marching along behind them.

“It was a blast,” Prange said. “It’s so exciting to see people get on board and become part of the team.”

The video, which was filmed and will be edited by Bill Klaes of Klaes Image Productions in Seymour, is going to be used to help spread the word about the upcoming Jackson County United Way fundraising drive, said Tonja Couch, United Way executive director. That drive begins in early September.

Couch said the purpose of United Way is to make sure local youth, senior citizens, low-income families and others at risk in the community are served through programs, initiatives and the work of its 20 partnering agencies in the areas of education, health and financial stability.

“It went great,” Couch said of the video shoot. “Everyone was really enthusiastic, and it’s going to be a cool campaign that champions our Team Up for Jacsy theme.”

Jacsy — a little white knight — is the Jackson County United Way’s mascot.

Couch said the video also will showcase United Way partners that are in a servant role helping out the community.

Set to the mission-driven song “United,” written and sung by Roxie Randle, the video will be shown during all campaign visits and will be accessible on YouTube and Jackson County United Way’s Facebook page and webpage.

“We will show that to different groups to give people an idea of what United Way is all about in Jackson County,” Couch said. “It’s all about living united and getting people behind it.”

The video was the idea of Sean Hildreth, Jackson County United Way resource development director.

“He was the visionary for this,” Couch said. “He wanted to do more to get behind the idea of teaming up for Jacsy because it takes everyone in the community to make it a better place.”

Hildreth said he got the idea for the video from last year’s campaign leader, Jim Potts.

“Jim would always say, ‘Get involved. Be a team player,’ and that made me think of all the players that come together for the United Way team,” Hildreth said. “We wanted to bring all these people together.”

When United Way staff make presentations to businesses and other supporters, Hildreth said they typically show a campaign video highlighting the organizations’ work. The new video will show the many people who support that work by donating their time or money to the cause.

“We have a really diverse group of people, and that’s what it takes,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know what United Way does. This will help create an awareness.”

Although Prange has supported United Way for many years, this is the first time he has led the campaign.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” he said. “But I see the good that is being done for our community, and it goes back to ‘If not me, then who?’”

Prange said his goal is to get as many people involved as possible.

“Every piece of the puzzle is important. You might be the corner piece or the middle piece, but if you only have 999 pieces of a 1,000-piece puzzle, it’s not a complete picture,” he said. “Everyone is important, no matter the size of the gift. It’s what’s in your heart and knowing it’s the right thing to do.”

The goal for this year’s campaign has not yet been finalized, Couch said.

Last year, the drive raised $756,694, exceeding the $745,000 goal.

Hildreth said he is confident this year’s campaign will be a success, too.

“Giving has increased here and across the United States,” he said. “We have that momentum, and I believe we are on our way to a great year, but we need everyone’s support to make that happen. The more money we raise, the more people we can help.”

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How to support Jackson County United Way

Mail donations to: P.O. Box 94, Seymour, IN 47274

Drop off donations: 113 N. Chestnut St., Suite 301, Seymour

Call: 812-522-5450


United Way programs include: Day of Caring, Rock’n Ready, FamilyWize Prescription Drug Discount cards, 2-1-1 community resource hotline, Jackson County Volunteer Center, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Partnering agencies: American Red Cross, Anchor House, The Arc of Jackson County, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Club, Brownstown Senior Citizens Center, Child Care Network, Crothersville Senior Citizens Center, Freetown Senior Citizens Center, Girls Scouts of Kentuckiana, Girls Inc., Head Start, Hoosier Trails Council Boy Scouts of America, Meals on Wheels, Medora Senior Citizens Center, Mental Health America Jackson County, Read Jackson County, The Salvation Army, Seymour Senior Citizens Center 107 and Turning Point