Lampkin was slated to address the Rome Exchange Club Friday, and did tell the club the 2018 campaign would begin with a kickoff golf tournament on Aug. 17. Two-man teams cost $125 at Stonebridge and players will have the opportunity to purchase a few mulligan's. From that point, Lampkin deferred to representatives from two of the agencies the local United Way supports.
"I think it's much better to hear from people who illustrate where the rubber meets the road," Lampkin said.
Auburn Brasher spoke on behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of Rome while Sarah Grimes spoke to the civic group as a representative of Summit Quest.
Brasher illustrated one of the big challenges that the United Way faces when she told the Exchange group the Boys & Girls Club was sponsoring a golf tournament fundraiser on the same day as the United Way event.
Brasher said upwards of 100 children participate in Boys & Girls Club activities on a daily basis. Many of them come from low income families. There is a charge to attend the Boys & Girls Club, $5 a week for a low-income family and Brasher explained that the club often seeks corporate sponsors to cover the annual cost for low-income families.
Sarah Grimes talked about the mission of Summit Quest, a relatively young agency in Rome, founded in 2010.
"The mission is to provide strength, hope and service to children and families affected by cancer," Grimes said.
Many of the programs operated by Summit Quest are outdoor-based and might involve a hike or paddle trip, rock climbing or something similar.
"We find that kind of pushing their limits in an outdoor adventure setting can be very empowering to them," Grimes said.
Grimes said the financial burden encountered by families dealing with cancer can be overwhelming, and all expenses for families during Summit Quest outings are free for the families.
Lampkin said the United Way raised approximately $650,000 last year and expects the goal for the upcoming campaign to be somewhere in that range, maybe as high as $700,000.
It wasn't that many years ago the local United Way was raising more than a million dollars annually, but Lampkin, who has been the executive director of the local agency for the past 18 years said Friday,
"We haven't seen the recovery from the downturn."
Close to 85 percent of all United Way contributions come from individuals through payroll deduction plans.
The last campaign to generate at least $1 million dollars was the 2012-2013 effort chaired by Craig McDaniel. The entire board of directors, led by President Bryan Shealy, will serve as leaders for the 2018-19 campaign.
Agencies which receive funding from the United Way of Rome and Floyd County include the Red Cross, the Boy Scouts of NW Georgia, the Boys & Girls Club of NW Georgia, the Exchange Club Family Resource Center, the Girl Scouts, Hospitality House, Mercy Senior Care, Open Door Home, YMCA, Salvation Army, Cave Spring Day Care, Network Day Services, Rebecca Blaylock Child Development Center, Senior Adult Recreation Center, STAR House, House of the Children Academy, Summit Quest and Rome-Floyd Commission on Children and Youth.