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United Way rallies in square

Agency still short of $1.7 million fundraising goal

Agency still short of $1.7 million fundraising goal

November 04, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

karenh@herald-mail.com

With just six weeks left in its fundraising campaign, United Way of Washington County has raised about 45 percent of its goal of $1.7 million.

Executive Director Dale Bannon said during a rally Thursday that fundraising efforts have fallen short of last year's pace, but he is optimistic the organization will reach its goal by the time the campaign officially ends Dec. 15.

About 20 volunteers and members of organizations supported by the United Way joined campaign committee members and business leaders Thursday to mark the 45-percent level on the large paper thermometer at Public Square in Hagerstown.

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Helen Edwards, 69, who helped hold up a large banner in support of the organization, volunteers at the dining room at the Washington County Commission on Aging. The Hagerstown woman summed up her support of United Way in six words: "'Cause it makes me feel good."

United Way and the organizations it supports, including the Commission on Aging, help about 50,000 people a year locally, United Way campaign coordinator Shuan Butcher said.

Though the campaign kicked off Sept. 1, Bannon said some corporate sponsors this year chose to hold off their collections because of reaction to the devastating hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast.

"Many of them kicked them off later because of the Katrina and Rita response, which was so necessary, so while we're surprised, we're cautiously optimistic," Bannon said.

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