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Campaign reaches 90% of goal in Franklin County

February 27, 2003|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Mary Ellen Hess wasn't armed with rubber gloves or a bucket at Wednesday's annual meeting of the United Way of Franklin County, but she knows the time is coming.

When the United Way board kicked off its fund-raising campaign in September, Hess, the chairwoman, promised to wash windows at United Way agencies if members ran a successful campaign.

Although United Way fell short of its $745,000 goal, Hess said raising $671,345 - 90 percent - in the current economy was a success, and she would hold up her end of the bargain.

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"I'm thrilled with what we got. I think the way the economy is, it is truly amazing we got what we got," Hess said Wednesday after announcing the final campaign total at the United Way's annual meeting.

Hess said that when the weather warms up she will get to work washing the windows at the Waynesboro (Pa.) Human Services building and the Franklin County Homeless Shelter in Chambersburg, two agencies that receive United Way funding.

"Washing windows is a pretty daunting effort," said Executive Director Cindy Hawbaker. "I understand housework is not her forte."

The money will be distributed to more than two dozen local human service programs that serve an estimated one of every two area residents in some way each year. Since the campaign did not meet its goal, the agencies will receive about 90 percent of their anticipated funding.

Hess said when some businesses and individuals heard the United Way was not going to reach its goal they made a second donation to the campaign.

"This is an indication of how our area has readily rallied around the needs of people," she said. "Raising between a half-million dollars and three-quarters-of-a-million dollars year after year is simply amazing."

The United Way of Franklin County narrowly missed its $745,000 goal last year, bringing in $732,978.

More than 90 percent of the funds raised go directly to the agencies, said Cheryl Plummer, president of the United Way board.

"We continue to function because we are good at what we do. Each year we raise money for our member agencies, and we do it with the maximum efficiency possible," Plummer said.

Awards also were given out Wednesday to high-achieving companies.

The Gold Award, which recognizes increases of 20 percent in giving with at least 50 percent participation from employees, went to Waynesboro Hospital, Orrstown Bank, United Parcel Service, Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, Family Health Services, Grove Bowersox Funeral Home, Kmart, M&T Bank, Smith Elliott Kearns & Co. and United Cerebral Palsy.

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