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United Way closes in on pledge goal

January 10, 2001

United Way closes in on pledge goal



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Despite employment concerns in Franklin County that caused setbacks to United Way's fund-raising campaign this winter, the group could come close to meeting its goal.

With reports from several businesses still outstanding, the United Way of Franklin County has recorded just under $640,000 in pledges or donations, short of its $740,000 goal, said Cindy Hawbaker, executive director.

"I'm hopeful we'll meet the goal, but we still have a long way to go," she said.

Last year, United Way of Franklin County collected $737,686.50 in the annual campaign to help fund local human service organizations.

Hawbaker attributes this year's decline to employment setbacks in the region.

"There were lots of layoffs, and employees are concerned they will be losing their jobs in the next year, so they are cautious about payroll deductions and pledging," she said.

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This fall, Grove Worldwide, Shady Grove, Pa., laid off 500 employees from all areas of the company.

Other companies did not conduct United Way campaigns because "they knew times were tough and they might need to lay off employees," Hawbaker said.

She said it's not too late for people to donate to the campaign.

Contributions will be accepted up to the closing celebration and annual meeting Feb. 21, she said.

"We are very appreciative of the local support received to this point and are hopeful that folks realize that there is still time to make a contribution or pledge to this effort as we strive hard to reach our goal," said John Massimilla, campaign chairman.

More than 300 volunteers and dozens of businesses have worked on the campaign, which began in late September.

"We're really pleased with the companies able to conduct campaigns who put their heart and soul in it and encouraged employees to give," Hawbaker said.

The funds will go to 28 area programs including the Red Cross, the YMCA, Women in Need Victims Services, the Salvation Army and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, among others.

The agencies that receive help have completed an extensive evaluation process and are registered with the state.

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