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Ceremony honors top United Way donors

As funding is dwindling, some say needs continue to crop up in Washington Co.

As funding is dwindling, some say needs continue to crop up in Washington Co.

December 15, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN -- While the struggling economy is making it difficult to raise money for the local United Way campaign this year, other funding needs continue to crop up in the community, guests said Tuesday night at a ceremony for top donors to the United Way of Washington County.

Other projects that will require donations from the public include a Washington County Free Library expansion and a new regional medical center, Hagerstown resident Jack Hershey said at the 2009 Celebration of Leadership reception at the Academy Theatre Banquet and Conference Center.

Despite the growing funding challenges in the community, Hershey said he thinks the demands will be met.

Dan Pheil of Hagerstown said he donated more to the United Way of Washington County this year.

"I know it's going to be tough," Pheil said.

In September, the United Way of Washington County kicked off its annual fundraising campaign, and campaign organizers set a goal of raising $1.8 million.

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Leah Gayman, executive director of the local United Way, acknowledged at Tuesday's reception the challenge of getting to that point.

Campaign organizers said about 50 percent of this year's fundraising goal has been reached. The campaign ends Feb. 15.

"We need everyone's support," Gayman said.

The Celebration of Leadership ceremony is a traditional event to recognize donors who have given $500 and more to the United Way, Gayman said.

Also recognized are people who have donated significant time to United Way events, Gayman said.

Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were served at the reception. Among those attending were Greg Snook and Mike Harsh, this year's campaign co-chairs. A special presentation by the Robinwood Players was scheduled.

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