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Panhandle campaign reaches new heights

January 22, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - The two United Way organizations that serve the Eastern Panhandle counties raised more than $1 million in their 2003 campaigns, a United Way official said Wednesday.

It was the first time the United Way of Berkeley and Morgan Counties and the United Way of Jefferson County have joined for their annual fund-raising drive, said Sue Pellish, executive director of the Jefferson County organization.

Pellish said she believes combining efforts sent a stronger message to the community about the importance of contributing and helped expand media coverage of the event.

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"It was just a very exciting event," said Pellish, who announced the results of the campaigns at the Three Onions restaurant in Shepherdstown on Wednesday afternoon.

The United Way of Berkeley and Morgan Counties had a fund-raising goal of $600,000 and raised $616,000, Pellish said. The United Way of Jefferson County had a fund-raising goal of $450,000 and raised $508,000, making the total raised by the two groups a little more than $1.1 million.

The totals were fund-raising records for both groups.

The fund-raising got a boost when Pellish was able to obtain $110,000 in grant money from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. The money was raised through matches of $5,000 from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation for every individual donation of at least $5,000, Pellish said.

Both groups started fund-raising during their annual Day of Caring events in September and concluded shortly after Christmas.

The United Way is a primary source of funding for nonprofit groups in the area such as day-care centers, Meals on Wheels programs, medical providers, senior centers, and boys and girls clubs.

"We are extremely pleased to have exceeded our goal," said Steve Cox, the campaign chairman for the United Way of Berkeley and Morgan Counties.

The campaign chairman for the United Way of Jefferson County was Chip Bennett.

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