United Way

The Franklin County Area United Way has raised nearly $302,000 in gifts and pledges — about 30 percent toward its record goal of $1,000,060.

“The campaign is at the halfway mark, and I think we’re right on track,” said Kim Strubberg, executive director.

“We still have a long way to go, but many of the corporate campaigns are ongoing or have not yet started,” she said. “Those companies that have held their drives have all come in strong and others are projecting they will be up.”

The funds raised will benefit 48 area agencies and programs in the area. This past year, more than 70,000 people in 35 neighboring communities were touched by these services.

David Strubberg, campaign co-chair and United Way board president, said the five pilot companies did a great job of jump-starting the drive, bringing in more than $70,000 and several have in-house drives that are still going on.

“Though we sit at only 30 percent of our goal at the halfway point, I am confident we will reach it,” he said. “We should see some big jumps in our numbers in the upcoming weeks as more of our Top 30 companies start reporting their success.”

Kim Strubberg said upcoming special events, like the United Way golf tournament this Friday at Wolf Hollow Golf Club, will bring in additional dollars as well.

“We have 33 teams of four for our golf tournament, which is completely full, so we’re very excited about that,” she said.

Other events planned include Power of the Purse in Union next Thursday, Oct. 10, and Soup Day, sponsored by Downtown Washington Inc., next Friday, Oct. 11, which benefits the United Way.

Coin collections will take place at key intersections Oct. 25-26 and Building Better Communities Days, where schools and businesses raise money by allowing students or employees to dress down or wear funny hats, are held throughout the month of October.

United Way board members and staff also will sell hot dogs at Pumpkin Palooza Saturday, Oct. 26, in Downtown Washington, just like they did this past weekend at the chili cook-off.

Strubberg said mail-in donations from the hanging bags high school students left last Wednesday in the door-to-door drive also are starting to come in as well. The community canvass brought in $6,700 and thousands of dollars more are expected from residents who were not at home to give that day.

“The next month will be a busy one with the special events and attending company rallies,” Strubberg said. “Corporate rallies are very important in building awareness of what we do. We’re really encouraging companies to offer payroll deductions, which we always say is the painless way to give.”

Stephen Trentmann, campaign co-chair and United Way board vice president, singled out the individual campaign chairs at area businesses for the work they’re doing to orchestrate their in-house drives.

“Without their help coordinating their company United Way drives, rallies, raffles, auctions and any other fund-raising for their campaign, we would never be able to achieve our goal,” Trentmann noted. “They spend their time coordinating internal activities, in addition to communicating back to the United Way board members responsible for their account.

“With this continued communication throughout the campaign we are able to keep the community updated with our progress,” he added. “We very much appreciate the time and dedication it takes to have a successful company drive.”

Strubberg said anyone with questions about the campaign or who simply want to learn more about the United Way, should call the office at 636-239-1018 or visit www.franklincountyunitedway.org.

The United Way is celebrating 60 years of building better communities this year, which is why the goal was set at $1,00,060. The drive will officially end Oct. 31 and the grand total will be announced in mid-November.