United Way surpasses its 2010 goal in Franklin County

April 07, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER |

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — After reaching its largest fundraising goal to date, the United Way of Franklin County celebrated to close out the year with a bang.

"We have climbed the mountain and reached our goal," 2010 campaign Chairwoman Nina Gillespie said Thursday at the event held at the Wood Center in downtown Chambersburg's Capitol Theatre Center.

In September 2010, the United Way set a goal of $720,000 to fund its 27 agency partners, which include the Franklin County chapter of the American Red Cross, Women in Need, the Chambersburg and Waynesboro YMCAs and more.

But, when all the funds were collected, the United Way raised $720,162.69.

"All things are possible if we just believe," said Gillespie, who used the slogan: "Many hands make the work light."

About 90 attended the celebration.

"We've had so many volunteers pull their efforts by working hard for months on this campaign — plus our donors who generously contributed to make this successful for us. It's really important for us to celebrate how this community has come together in support of the work that's done," said Amy Hicks, executive director of the Franklin County United Way.

Gillespie said this year's campaign was challenging due to the flagging economy.

But, she said the community rallied and was creative, such as raising money by signing books and snow tubing.

"Without the financial support from the community, it would mean programs would be eliminated," Gillespie said.

Hicks said the community has always come through.

"We've been fortunate and haven't had any programs shut down because of funding. They rely on our funding to do what they do. Without that funding, they either would not exist or their services would be cut," Hicks said.

Cyndi Paino-White, office manager for physical medicine for Waynesboro Hospital, backs the United Way.

"It's such a great cause. It affects one out of three people (in the county), and how do I know that someday I won't be one of those people?" Paino-White asked.

Not only does the Franklin County Literacy Council receive financial aid from the United Way, but also its staff contributes to the cause.

"We need to be a part of the community that we serve," said Lou Cowles, administrative aide for the literacy council. "There's always somebody who needs more than we do. There's always somebody with a greater need."

Typically, the United Way campaign begins in September and ends in March.

A goal for the 2011 campaign will be announced in September, Hicks said.

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