Wildlife Federation breaks ground on NaturePlex

The Alabama Wildlife Federation broke ground Wednesday on a new building designed to enhance public education about conservation. NaturePlex, a 23,000-square-foot, $5.5 million facility at the Alabama Nature Center in Millbrook, will serve as Lanark’s official and permanent welcome and education center. Tim Gothard, executive director of the Alabama Wildlife Federation, which manages Lanark, emphasized the educational benefits that will come from NaturePlex. “It will help us grow significantly the number of youth and adults who we are able to share the outdoor conservation education message with here at the Alabama Nature Center,” said Gothard, who said the center also will support a broad number of study areas. “This is the next step in further expanding outdoor education as a way to actually help teach math, science, social studies and language arts to students,” he said.

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CEO unveils ‘Bold But Achievable’ goals for local economy

CEO — the economic development arm of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce — held a kickoff to its new five-year plan called Transforming Greater Gainesville — a Game-Changing Plan at the Gainesville Country Club on Wednesday afternoon. The goals include recruiting, retaining or expanding 50 companies that create 3,500 new jobs paying a total $218 million — or about $53,000 each — and invest $250 million in capital in their companies. CEO investors, made up of local businesses, have already committed three-quarters of the $6 million goal, or just over $4.4 million, according to campaign chairman Todd Powell of the Plum Creek Timber Company.

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Posted on September 17, 2014

Wayne Economic Development Council continuing positive momentum

The success of the Wayne Economic Development Council did not come by accident, but by establishing a vision, following a strategic plan, making tough decisions, engaging the public and private sectors and doing the work. To keep the momentum moving in a positive direction, the organization embarked on a third Growing a Quality Future Campaign with the aim of raising $2.3 million to tackle five strategic areas. WEDC is on its way to the $2.3 million goal. So far, it has received pledges for $1.275 million.

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Leadership Gwinnett exceeds expectations with capital campaign

For the first time in its nearly 30-year history, Leadership Gwinnett launched a capital campaign in 2013 and in just eight months all expectations were exceeded. “The Key to a Better Gwinnett” campaign went above and beyond their initial goal of $600,000 by raising more than $900,000. The campaign’s success means Leadership Gwinnett can embark on a five-year strategic plan. Elements of the strategic plan include the announcement of a new program, enhanced scholarship opportunities and more strategic outreach that will enable greater organizational impact for the county and region.

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Safe Homes raising $3 million for new shelter, office building

Safe Homes, a nonprofit that intervenes to stop domestic violence, serves hundreds of women each year in Augusta and nine surrounding counties. On Thursday, it launched the public phase of a $3 million capital campaign to reach even more women. About 60 percent of the campaign’s goal, or $1.8 million, has been raised largely through corporate donations. The money will build a new center to house administrative offices and 36 beds to shelter women escaping violent situations, more than doubling the 16-bed shelter that has been used since Safe Homes began in Augusta 30 years ago.

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More than $1 million already raised for chamber project

The Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce held a public kick-off event for its capital campaign Saturday night. The campaign, aimed at raising $1.4 million to restore the block of buildings owned by the chamber, began quietly following a feasibility study conducted in November. “The first few months were about identifying leadership for the campaign and key investors,” said Vanessa Lynch, chamber executive director. “We already have $1,151,500 of our $1.4 million goal committed to date.”

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Posted on June 11, 2014

SafeHomes of Augusta plans to build bigger shelter for domestic violence victims

Georgia and South Carolina have some of the highest reports of domestic violence in the country. Last year, Safe Homes of Augusta helped more than 800 people stuck in violent relationships. Now, they’ve got a plan in place to reach even more victims. They’re building a new shelter to replace their current one that will hold twice as many people. The current shelter can only house 16 women and children at a time. The new facility will house 36, saving more lives and giving more families hope before it’s too late.

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Transform Tompkins raises $1.7 million

Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD) announced that their “Transform Tompkins” investment campaign exceeded its goal, raising more than $1.7 million. “The financial support by the business community in economic development in Tompkins County will yield meaningful and long-term benefits for our community and the entire region,” said Greg Hartz, Chairman of TCAD’s Board of Directors. “The exemplary support of the businesses and organizations throughout Tompkins County demonstrates how committed they are to the important work of economic development. It is a true model of a public-private partnership,” said Michael Lane, Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature.

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Posted on May 16, 2014

Businesses bankroll Williamson County’s economic development push

By mid-summer, Williamson County expects businesses to have fully funded its new economic development initiative. Williamson Inc. — the new name for the super-sized chamber of commerce— went public with its fundraising campaign on Tuesday. Most fundraising campaigns are formally launched in public after a bulk of the pledges have been secured behind the scenes. This is no different: Williamson Inc. says companies have committed to donate $1.97 million so far, or 68 percent of the campaign’s goal of $2.9 million. The donations are scheduled to be made during a five-year period to help the chamber tackle a number of priorities, from fostering entrepreneurs to workforce training programs.

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Economic development commission nears fundraising goal

Davie County’s Economic Development Commission is nearing the end of its $1 million capital campaign. The campaign, publicly launched in early December, has about $900,000 in pledges from nearly 75 businesses and individuals, according to Terry Bralley, the president of the commission. “We’re in the red zone here,” Bralley said last week. “I’ve just really been humbled by the participation of folks and businesses. People have been so gracious and have really bought into our program and want to support it.” Up until this campaign, the commission has gotten its funding from the county and its three municipalities. “We had a feasibility plan this time last year and we felt like there was $900,000 to $1 million out there, and we’re coming in there like the plan said,” Bralley said.

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