Russell named United Way honorary chairman

Published 3:55 pm Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chilton County will see young Grayson Russell’s face on movie posters as well as at local United Way events. The Chilton County United Way has named Russell as its honorary chairman as they get set to kickoff their annual fundraising campaign with which they hope to raise $200,000.

The campaign runs from Aug. 1 to Dec. 31. During that time, Russell will make several public appearances. Due to a scheduling conflict, he will not be able to attend the upcoming kickoff.

Russell’s latest film, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” was a box office hit, prompting its studio to greenlight a sequel. Russell will begin shooting in Vancouver soon but will soon be back to support the United Way’s efforts.

“I feel the United Way is a great program that I’m honored to be a part of,” Russell said. “I’m thankfully they made me the honorary chairman and that I can be part of such a wonderful program to help the community.”

Board chairman Curtis Smith said he and the organization appreciate Russell and his family for allowing him to participate in the charitable endeavor.

“We really feel like it’s going to help us with our campaign,” Smith said.

Smith said 75 percent of the proceeds raised by United Way benefit children.

Probate Judge and United Way campaign chairman Bobby Martin believes Russell will serve the organization well by reaching out to younger people.

“We thought we’d get somebody like Grayson who’s been visible in the community that would make us more visible to the younger generation and tap into resources of that generation to help us meet our goal of $200,000,” Martin said.

Board member Tom Brown agreed with Martin’s point about Russell speaking to that younger generation, specifically at local schools.

“I just think he’d be an asset to us as a young person,” Brown said. “We could get participation from future donors and help schools. That’d be a real big thing. He can communicate with younger people where we can’t.”

The United Way will hold its annual kickoff on Aug. 24 at noon at the Alabama Power Conference Center.

There are 25 local agencies in Chilton County that benefit from United Way.

For more information, call the United Way office at 755-5875.