KwangSung steps up as United Way PacesetterPublished 10:54am Wednesday, August 14, 2013
The Lake Martin Area United Way shifted its 2013 fundraising campaign into overdrive Tuesday morning as they welcomed Korean auto parts maker KwangSung as its Pacesetter company.
At a meeting of KwangSung’s managers at its plant in Dadeville’s Thweatt Industrial Park, the company set a goal of $20,000 it hopes to collect from its employees.
The theme of this year’s campaign is “Drivin’ for a United Community.”
“Thank you all for agreeing to be this year’s Pacesetter,” said United Way Board President Tom Lamberth. “The United Way cannot be successful if we don’t have the support of the businesses in the community, and your support and contributions are going to be very important.”
The annual campaign raises funding for a variety of local agencies, groups and initiatives. The overall goal for the campaign is $555,000.
KwangSung America President Suk Young Yoon said the greatest contribution they can make to the Tallapoosa and Coosa county communities is to continue expanding their operations to create new jobs for area residents. Though he primarily spoke through Korean translator David Jeon, Yoon did note in English that this is an important step for the company “to become a member of this community.”
“All our employees come from this community and without them we cannot do anything,” Yoon said. “Our team members make this company successful. They live in this community. Their problems are our problems; their issues are our issues.”
Sharon Fuller, Executive Director of the Lake Martin Area United Way, said this is the first time her group has reached out to one of the foreign auto companies that have located in the industrial parks in Dadeville and Alexander City. But she doubts it will be the last.
“I am thrilled to be able to offer the Pacesetter to a company that’s never served in that role before,” Fuller said.
The purpose of the Pacesetter company, she said, is “to give the campaign a running start in the race to our goal this year.”
“It will take all of us working together in Tallapoosa and Coosa counties to get it done.”
KwangSung will have two weeks to reach their Pacesetter goal of $20,000 before the Aug. 27 campaign kickoff event at CACC’s Betty Carol Graham Technology Center. More than 40 Pinewood Derby racecar kits, familiar to area Cub Scouts and their parents, were distributed to area businesses. The finished wooden racers will then enter a lighthearted competition at the kickoff, Fuller said.
All money raised is tax deductible and the funds stay in the community to help those in need, she added.
By increasing the company’s profile through outreach like the United Way, Yoon said, the company’s relationship with Hyundai and Kia can grow, which expands its opportunities to create jobs in the area. United Way is one part of it, he said, and the company “also contributes in many ways to area schools and other community groups.”
“It helps us to be more active in these matters,” Yoon said. “We are very fortunate and proud that our company has become the Pacesetter this year. It makes us feel we’re getting another step closer to the local communities in this area.”