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United Way kicks off campaign

September 15, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - Turns out the remnants of Hurricane Ernesto, which dampened the official start of the 2006 United Way of Washington County campaign on Sept. 1, weren't such a bad thing after all.

At the rescheduled campaign kickoff Thursday morning, it was announced that $346,997 has been pledged - nearly 20 percent of the $1,750,000 goal needed to benefit the 22 United Way agencies.

"Ernesto had other plans for us on our planned campaign kickoff," Dale Bannon, United Way executive director, said of the rained-out event that was to have preceded a Hagerstown Suns baseball game.

Easing that loss, a check for $3,000 was presented Thursday to United Way by Will Smith of the Suns and Matt Weaver of Susquehanna Bank.

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The breakfast event at the Washington County chapter of the American Red Cross on Conrad Court continued on a sweet note with Jenna Ebersole, a 6-year-old Girls Inc. member, singing the national anthem.

Co-campaign chairs John Roney and Cynthia Perini had words of encouragement for the United Way volunteers who attended the combined kickoff event and United Way Packet Blitz day.

"Last year, it was Katrina; this year, Ernesto," Roney said, referring to the impact the storms had by deflecting some United Way giving last year and delaying the start of this year's campaign.

Roney and Perini thanked the volunteers who were going out to distribute employee campaign packets throughout the county Thursday.

"It's going to take everyone in the community to make the dollars," Bannon said.

Volunteers were given a list of employers - some large and some small - who don't currently have United Way employee campaigns.

Bannon said that list will be broken down by area and all will be approached.

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