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United Way lunch thanks 'whole bunch'

November 16, 1999|By ANDREA ROWLAND

HALFWAY - United Way of Washington County volunteers and staff members had a wild time Tuesday at the agency's campaign report luncheon at the Plaza Hotel in Halfway.

The event featured a jungle motif.

Clad in safari garb, Campaign Chairman James Pierne announced that contributions to the 1999 fall giving campaign have reached $809,000, nearly 48 percent of the $1.7 million goal.

Tuesday's figure represents a $652,000 increase since the campaign kicked off on Sept. 1, when pacesetter companies and their employees, United Way and its member agencies donated $157,000 to the campaign.

The giving campaign ends Jan. 20.

Seventeen area companies have increased their corporate and/or employee contributions since last year.

United Way volunteers costumed as gorillas, lions, elephants, panda bears and giant bananas gave members from five volunteer companies spirit awards, which acknowledged employee campaigns fueled by energy and enthusiasm, Pierne said.

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Roy Rogers and Eddie Bauer were honored for their employee programs, DOT Foods increased by 15 times its employee participation, and Hecht's gave an unsolicited donation, Pierne said.

Employees from The Stationery House celebrated the business's 25th anniversary this year by holding monthly game-based fund-raising activities and donating all the money - $1,200 - to the United Way, said Gene Tedrow, director of marketing and sales.

The panda gave a bear hug to Hagerstown Trust employees, who received a 100 percent employee participation award.

Kathleen Hall, executive director of the United Way of Washington County, also gave a special spirit award to "behind-the-scenes hero" volunteer Keith Deau.

Hall then thanked "top banana" Pierne for his efforts on behalf of the "whole bunch."

Event participants parted with a campaign survival kit that included rubber bands for flexibility, erasers to remember that everyone makes mistakes, and gum to remind them "not to let anybody burst your bubble," Pierne said.

"It's a jungle out there."

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