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Johnson named new United Way director

A life-long resident of the community has been named as the new executive director of the United Way of Screven County, according to the fund-raising organization’s board of directors.
Tina Johnson officially began her position Tuesday. She has quickly become acquainted with the various aspects of the county’s United Way. Johnson resides in Screven County with her husband Jody and the couple’s two children.
Johnson graduated from Screven County High School before obtaining her diploma as a nurse from Ogeechee Technical College.
Johnson has taken over where outgoing director Cathy Kight left off with an emphasis on increasing the visibility of the United Way’s influence.   
“I am honored to join the United Way effort to make our home a better place,” Johnson said. “I believe we live in an amazing community and the United Way of Screven County is an expression of the goodwill of our citizens to one another.”
The United Way board thanks Kight for her 11 years of successful and compassionate service as executive director. Kight served on the United Way board before being named as its director.
Kight will remain in her role as executive director of the Screven County Community Collaborative and will continue to work with Johnson as she transitions into her new role.
For the months prior to the hiring of Johnson for the United Way position, Kight had served as executive director for both the United Way and Collaborative.
The United Way of Screven County is a non-profit organization that serves as an agent to generate funding for 20 local programs and coordinates emergency relief services for Screven County residents.  
To support the United Way effort by volunteering, joining a committee, or donating, contact the United Way office located at 205 Mims Road at 912-564-5770.
“I congratulate Tina and wish her the best as executive director,” said Kight, who has been very instrumental in the continued progress of the local United Way. “I don’t think my passion and heart for United Way will ever leave.”
Enoch Autry, the president of United Way, said Kight truly has a deep-rooted care and concern for this community.
“We have been extremely fortunate to have an individual like Cathy lead our United Way for more than a decade,” Autry said. “Cathy loves this community. Spend just a few minutes with her and that is clearly evident. Our board will miss Cathy as its director, but now she will be able to dedicate herself fully to the Collaborative which does countless wonderful things for our citizens. Cathy, thank you. Thank you for being you.”
Autry said the United Way board members are very privileged to have a person of the caliber of Johnson succeed Kight.
“Tina already has become a welcome addition to our team,” Autry said. “With United Way and several other members of the community in the thick of preparations for the fourth annual ‘Between Two Rivers Bike Ride’ and the United Way campaign just weeks away, this is a really busy time of the year. Tina already has made a strong impact in our fundraising efforts.”
The annual bicycle ride through Screven County that again will have four separate routes will be on the first Saturday in October on Oct. 4.
The United Way kickoff this year will be a little different as it will be breakfast instead of a luncheon. The kickoff will be Sept. 25 at the Family Life Center of the Sylvania First Baptist Church. The event will start that morning at 7 a.m.
Along with the bike ride and kickoff breakfast, other events will be announced by United Way in the upcoming weeks.
Currently, members of the United Way board and bike ride committee are selling $1 opportunity drawing tickets for a chance at a Yeti Tundra 50 cooler that will be given away on the day of the bike ride.
The Yeti cooler has been donated by Possum Eddy Ace Hardware.
Members of the bike ride committee will be at the Sept. 20 Wild About Screven event on the Screven County Courthouse Lawn selling tickets for the cooler.
There still is time to become a business sponsor of the bike ride and also register as a participant for the bike.
The four bicycle ride courses on Oct. 4 all begin at the First Baptist Church in Sylvania on South Main Street. The ride routes will be 12, 30, 62 and 100 miles.
Early registration fees are $30 single, $45 couple and $50 family. After Sept. 16, fees are $35 single and $50 couple. The fee includes breakfast, sack lunch and a T-shirt.
Each of the routes will have available Support And Gear personnel and additional law enforcement for extra safety.
During each of the first three years of the ride, the Screven County community has been very helpful with its preparations for the event and assistance on the day of the ride. That community support will be available again this year.
The theme of the ride is “Where there’s a wheel, there’s a way.”
Business, group or individual sponsorships are $500, $350 or $250, but any donation will be graciously accepted. Each of the sponsors will be printed on the bike ride T-shirts.
For more information on the event, contact Johnson at 912-564-5770.