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Holiday Inn donating to United Way
Portion of income from Clayton individuals, groups to aid charity

By Maria Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

A local Holiday Inn is giving a portion of its receipts to United Way in Clayton County.

The hotel's director of sales said United Way in Clayton County will receive 7 percent of the proceeds from Holiday Inn, at 6288 Old Dixie Highway, Jonesboro, when individuals and groups with a Clayton County ZIP code reserve any type of room at the hotel until Dec. 31.

"We're partnering to have businesses in the community do business with us, so we can turn and give back to Clayton County," said Charles Overstreet, director of sales for Holiday Inn. "We want to increase our revenue, and those willing to help us, we turn around and help United Way."

Overstreet said he has volunteered with the Metro Atlanta United Way for more than 10 years, and understands how beneficial the organization is to local communities.

"I was raised that way, to always give back... We want to make as big of an impact as we can," said Overstreet.

The proceeds gained from room reservations by Clayton County residents, businesses and organizations will assist the United Way in Clayton County in funding local nonprofit organizations, said Sheri Willis, associate area director for United Way in Butts, Henry and Clayton counties.

"He called me out of the blue one day, and asked if I was interested in partnering with the Holiday Inn for proceeds," Willis said. "They will benefit the United Way in Clayton County campaign for 2009."

According to Willis, the campaign helps launch programs for local nonprofit organizations that need financial assistance. She said there are currently 20 organizations in Clayton County that are grantees, including Boys & Girls Club, Calvary Refuge Center and Habitat for Humanity.

"Our focus areas are education, income, health and homelessness," said Willis. "Most everything that we fund falls right into those four categories."

Willis said organizations can apply for funding during the fall, and that the campaign begins in September and ends in November. During the campaign, United Way officials educate individuals and businesses about the organization's mission, and how they can contribute. Volunteers from United Way in Clayton County decide how the money is distributed in the spring.

Mike Twomey, who is the president and executive director of the Morrow Business and Tourism Association, and president-elect of the Rotary Club in Clayton County, said Rotary uses the conference room at the Holiday Inn once a week for meetings.

"I think it's fantastic, and I think it's a great program," said Twomey. "I think that's a pretty nice and generous donation."