United Way

Calls still are being made and accounts followed up as the Franklin County Area United Way makes a final push toward its $1,000,060 goal.

The fund-raising campaign — the largest annual drive in the county — officially ends Thursday.

“But it’s not too late to make a donation,” said Kim Strubberg, executive director.

“We won’t be announcing our final results until Nov. 20 since we have many companies holding in-house fund-raisers right up until Thursday,” Strubberg said.

“Then we need time to collect campaign envelopes, verify results and calculate totals,” she said. “So people can still donate even after Thursday while we finalize all of the numbers.”

As of Monday, the campaign had $735,935 in gifts and pledges, which puts the drive at 73 percent of goal.

Strubberg said that figure also includes some projections from companies who have not turned in their campaign envelopes.

“I’m still optimistic we can reach the goal,” she said. “We don’t have all of the Top 30 corporate donations in yet, and I’m still hopeful individual donors will give yet as well. Everything has been so positive, so we’re staying positive here.

“The generosity of people in this community and the county is unbelievable,” Strubberg added. “The very fact that some companies are holding special events through Thursday in an effort to continue to raise funds really says a lot.”

Stephen Trentmann, campaign co-chair, said United Way board members and staff continue to reach out to those who have donated in the past.

“We are evaluating every area to determine our status of the campaign,” Trentmann told The Missourian. “Many company reports are coming back to the United Way office higher than last year, which make us optimistic.

“The public has been very generous during our community coin collections and other functions, but we really will not know for sure if we’ve made our goal until the very end.”

Strubberg said the coin collections, held this past week in Washington and Union, and earlier in St. Clair, brought in nearly $3,000.

Soup Day, held last Tuesday by Downtown Washington Inc. as a fund-raiser for United Way, raised another $1,215.

United Way staff and board members also sold hot dogs and chips at Pumpkin Palooza this past Saturday in Downtown Washington, raising about $374.

Strubberg said the campaign has had some setbacks, which is typical in every drive, but she’s been impressed with the effort and positive spirit.

“It’s been a great drive, very high-energy, and we’re not finished yet,” she 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.