Howard Payne University President Lanny Hall pulled out all the soaps Thursday to help launch the Brown County United Way’s 2008 campaign.

At the kickoff luncheon at HPU’s Mabee Center, Hall warned he would be speaking from a soap box, and with some help from Carol, his wife of 39 years, and dozens of name-brand cleaning and laundry products, made a case for turning the “Tide” and successfully finishing a “Fantastic” campaign.

That campaign effort has a $325,000 goal, and in his serious final statements, Hall used a Stephen Covey quote, “Always begin with the end in mind.”

Fourteen Brown County agencies benefit from the annual drive and the traditional kickoff luncheon salutes not only the workers and contributors of the previous year’s campaign, but those who have agreed to work in this year’s effort.

Several events and ways are in the planning for the fund-raising efforts. This year, again, Underwood’s will host a Wednesday United Way benefit lunch on Sept. 26. Wall Moulding and Associates will hold a warehouse sale with all proceeds going to the United Way from 9 a.m. until sell-out on Sept. 15, at 1411 Center Ave.

Other “convenient” ways to support the United Way, said emcee Douglas Boone Jr., are to use the “Kroger card with the United Way emblem” or for computer searches, go to www.goodsearch.com and designate “United Way — Brown County (Brownwood)” as the charitable recipient. A penny per search is paid to the local United Way.

The 2007 Brown County United Way board of directors includes Jenna Bauchman, Athena Bean, Liz Brown, Joe Childs, Debbie Deal, Gene Deason, Aaron Diaz, Steven Felux, Chris Garcia, Donna Hair, Sue Jones, Brett Koch, Oscar Martinez, John May, Donna Pettus, Steven Ray, George Ross, Bill Thompson, Marisha Thompson, Ada Turner, Brett VanOverbeke, Steven Weckworth, Brad Wells and Veta Young. Karen Lynch is the executive director.

Member agencies of the Brown County United Way are Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), The Ark domestic violence shelter, Small World Child Development Center, Pearl Griffin Memorial Latch Key, American Red Cross Pecan Valley Chapter, Salvation Army Loaves and Fishes, Family Services Center, Brown County Association for Retarded Citizens, Mid-Tex Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Cancer Services Network, Brown County 4-H Clubs, Brown County Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts Heart of Texas Council.

Boone, emcee for the luncheon and who has tendered his resignation from the United Way board, repeated “two very small yet powerful words — ‘Thank you,’” he said then counted those from volunteers, to donors, to businesses, to board members who deserve the gratitude.

“You never know when ‘those people’ will become ‘we people,’” Boone said, “people who need the United Way.”