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United Way reaches its goal

January 11, 2001

United Way reaches its goal



By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer

photos: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

Mike Callas honored

Above: Mike Callas, left, is honored by rich Gagliardi, president, United Way of Washington County, during the 2000 Campaign Finale.

United Way reaches goal

Above: Mike Callas, left, campaign chairman of United Way of Washington County checks the numbers for the final tally of the 2000 drive. It was announced Thursday that the campaign reached its $1.7 million goal. Although contributions to the United Way have increased for the past six year, the agency hadn't met its goal since 1991.

United Way of Washington County has reached its $1.7 million goal, the first time in nearly a decade that the agency has achieved the goal set for its annual giving campaign, United Way officials announced Thursday.

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"We're very excited that we made our goal," United Way Board President Rich Gagliardi said during the agency's campaign finale banquet, "All Wrapped Up," at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel in Hagerstown.

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"Your investment in United Way will help change the lives of many people in Washington County," Gagliardi said. "Your contributions will help fund health and human service programs that get results for the people they serve."

United Way volunteers formed a line and flipped brightly wrapped packages to reveal each of the lofty campaign goal's seven digits and two commas.

Gagliardi and 2000 Campaign Chairman Michael G. Callas then presented an oversized check for $1.7 million.

United Way contributions have climbed for the past six years but the agency hadn't met its campaign goal since 1991, Gagliardi said.

Callas attributed the campaign's success to the giving nature of the community and the hard work of United Way volunteers.

"We've worked hard in order to benefit our community, and certainly we're very, very proud of our accomplishments," he said. "Each individual has dedicated a significant amount of time and energy into making this campaign a success."

The agency's highest honor, the Chairman's Award, was given to TruServ. The Hagerstown-based hardware distributor increased its United Way contributions by 779 percent over last year, Callas said.

DOT Foods and Hub Labels were recognized for increasing their giving campaigns by at least 25 percent, and local media representatives were given certificates of appreciation for their efforts to support the campaign.

Gagliardi and United Way Executive Director James Taylor also praised Callas' leadership of the campaign.

"We needed someone special to pull it together for us," Gagliardi said. "At any meeting or event, Mike has the effect of bringing out the best in everyone involved."

After accepting a special award, Callas received a standing ovation that left him in tears.

"It takes a lot of people," he said. "You give me too many things. You have my thanks. And I hope every one of you feels the same sense of accomplishment that certainly I do."

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