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A United effort

August 28, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

The 12th annual United Way Day of Caring in Washington County started with a prayer, a pep talk and a hearty breakfast Wednesday morning at Hagerstown's First Christian Church. And then the 300 volunteers went off to 19 sites to paint, clean, plant, mow, deliver meals, cut wood, hang wallpaper and staff a bloodmobile.

Cindy DeLauder was part of a group from First Data assigned to a painting job at the Head Start location on North Avenue.

"We've been practicing the 'wax on, wax off' technique," DeLauder said, referring to a famous scene from the movie, "The Karate Kid."

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The First Data-sponsored Day of Caring kicked off United Way of Washington County's 2003 fall giving campaign. The goal of this year's campaign is $1,846,994 for the United Way's 22 member agencies, Campaign Chairman Richard Reichenbaugh said.

But James Taylor, United Way executive director, added it would take $2.3 million to fully fund the numerous health and human service needs of the agencies.

"Setting the goal is always a challenge," Taylor said. "However we felt letting everyone know what the needs of the community are was the way to go this year."

Last year, with a goal of $1.7 million, the campaign raised just over $1.6 million.

Reichenbaugh announced Wednesday at the breakfast that $395,307, or just over 21 percent of goal, already has been raised. The companies responsible for the early successes are American Red Cross, Associated Engineering Sciences, Inc., Beachley Furniture, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The Bon-Ton, Catholic Charities, Citicorp Credit Services, Community Action Council, F&M Bank, Food Resources, Keller-Stonebraker Insurance, Parent-Child Center and the United Way office.

Mary Ellen Fidler of Community Action Council said her agency was working with a team from the Review and Herald Publishing Company to deliver Meals On Wheels to about 90 clients Wednesday.

Washington County government employees headed to Girls Inc. on Washington Avenue for a day of painting several rooms.

Volunteers from CertainTeed, Allegheny Energy, Callas Contractors and F&M Bank tackled some heavy-duty repairs at Boy Scouts headquarters on Crestwood Drive.

Other teams represented Columbia Gas, Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, DOT Foods, The Exchange Club, Fujicolor Processing, Girls Scouts, Hagerstown Trust, The Herald-Mail, Horizon Goodwill Industries, Hub Labels, Long Meadow Rotary, M&T Bank, Mack Trucks and Sunrise Rotary.

At least one outdoor project was halted because of intermittent rain showers Wednesday. A Citicorp team assigned to do landscaping was reassigned to painting tasks at Wheaton Park, according to a member of The Herald-Mail team working there.

At midmorning, a Community Rescue Service ambulance was sent to Wheaton Park where an employee of the City of Hagerstown collapsed while inspecting the work being done there, a dispatcher at Washington County Fire and Rescue Communications said.

The man was taken to Washington County Hospital at 10:47 a.m., the dispatcher said. No further information was available.

There was a special job for Bonnie Laing's team from the Review & Herald at the new location of the W House at 519 N. Locust St.

Previously crowded into a converted apartment building at 37 E. Antietam St., this halfway house for women battling addictions is preparing to relocate to more spacious and convenient quarters.

On Wednesday, the team was putting up wallpaper border in the nine new bedrooms. Laing said her team was working at the W House before the Day of Caring and will return again.

"We're going to be doing a toy drive and building a toy box for the community room at the W House," said Laing, a veteran of seven years of Day of Caring projects.

W House Executive Director Christina Trenton said she was thrilled with the assistance Wednesday.

"We're aiming to move in by the end of September," Trenton said.

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