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Youths collect for United Way

May 17, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN

A stop at a recent Washington County Board of Education meeting became very profitable for one local youth group.

Matt Amalfitano and Michael Digman, co-directors of Youth United Way, received nearly $400 from board members, school system staff and Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan. The money will go to the group's fundraising campaign that will end Monday.

Amalfitano and Digman are North Hagerstown High School seniors. At least two students at every high school in the county were raising money for Youth United Way, which is in its first year.

Fundraising began in March, and all funds will go to local programs that support youth.

Amalfitano said the group's goal was to raise $5,000, which will be matched by First Data. They need another $400 to reach that goal.

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"We can't wait," he said. "We can't wait to give away that money."

Amalfitano and Digman were at Tuesday's Board of Education business meeting to receive an award for their work with Youth United Way. After their presentation, Board Member Ruth Anne Callaham presented the boys with an IOU for $100, Amalfitano said.

Other board and staff members presented similar donations, including Morgan, who gave them a check for $100.

Amalfitano said the campaign began by targeting students and area youth, but they decided recently to reach out to adults.

"The first expectation was to acquire as much as we could from students," he said. "Yes, this is from youth, but why don't we see if we can get some donations from people who directly impact youth."

The group will meet Monday and begin deciding how to distribute the money among area programs that support youth. Amalfitano said Youth United Way will conduct a round of interviews at the end of the month. He said no decision has been made on how many groups will receive funds.

"We can't wait to give our money away," he said. "That's the rewarding part."

Donations for Youth United Way can be sent to:

United Way of Washington County

33 W. Franklin St., Suite 203

Hagerstown, MD 21740

Checks should be made out to United Way, and indicate in the memo that the donations are for Youth United Way.

For details, e-mail Matt Amalfitano at mattamalfi@hotmail.com

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