North Augusta 2000 held its $1.5 million, five-year capital campaign kickoff for its 2012-16 strategic plan, The Vision Continues, on Thursday at the Palmetto Terrace in the municipal building.
Kathy Gilliland, the executive director of North Augusta 2000, said to nearly 100 people who attended the luncheon that many residents might not know that the nonprofit organization exists, but that if it didn’t exist, people would notice.
She asked everyone to stand up and then read a list of things North Augusta 2000 has been involved in. Those standing were asked to sit as soon as an item read had affected them, such as whether they ever been on the Greeneway trail system.
“Everyone in this room has been touched by or involved in North Augusta 2000 in some way,” Gilliland said.
The group operates on investments alone, and its goal is to enhance the quality of life in the North Augusta community, Gilliland said.
Some of the things it has been involved in are purchasing land in advance to revitalize downtown North Augusta, such as the location of the new municipal building; the Real Life 101 class at North Augusta High School, which teaches seniors practical skills for the real world; pushed to get the Sunday alcohol sales referendum on the November ballot; and Leadership North Augusta, which prepares people to be leaders in the community.
Dr. Randy Cooper said North Augusta 2000 is about community, family and individuals: “What you invest in today, it’s going to be for the next 50 to 100 years.”
Cooper mentioned the Reading Readiness program that North Augusta 2000 began, which has delivered more than 75,000 books to children. He said some of those books might have been given to a child who otherwise would have never had the opportunity to own one.
Swain Morris, the director of investor relations for North Augusta 2000, reiterated the program’s importance, saying he had read that 70 percent of people in prison read at a fourth-grade level or below.
North Augusta 2000 is seeking individuals, as well as corporations, to invest in North Augusta’s future. Morris said the goal is to have 300 individuals invest in the campaign.
“I think that is an obtainable goal,” he said.
The Vision Continues strategic plan is available at www.northaugusta2000.org. It outlines what the group has done and its goals, such as a senior citizen center, Real Life 101 class for adults, and building a boathouse to provide access to the river.
For information about the strategic plan, call Gilliland at (803) 510-0011 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.