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United Way exceeds goal in fundraising campaign

| Tuesday, April 8, 2008

CARROLL TOWNSHIP - An increase in the number of workers who contributed to the Mon Valley United Way was the reason the agency again surpassed its fundraising goal.

United Way officials Monday said the 2007-2008 campaign pulled in $360,268.

As it has been for the past few years, the goal was $355,000.

At the agency's 47th Annual Meeting at Mon Valley Hospital's Anthony M. Lombardi Education Conference Center, United Way Executive Director Phil Sparacella said a number of the 45 workplaces involved showed increased participation.

Sparacella said a core of longtime donors helped the United Way achieve its goal.

"It's the consistency and their commitment to the United Way," he said of a streak of successful campaigns. "There have been some contributors that may have, for one reason or the other in the past, not participated, but have this year."

Workplace donations make up about 70 percent of the money collected.

Sparacella noted a spike in individual donors.

Last year, the campaign generated $356,592.

In 2006, the United Way raised about $365,000. In 2005, the effort pulled in slightly more than $380,000.

Campaign coordinator Pam Messina and Sparacella have successfully engaged in more intensive workplace solicitation, new angles on campaign promotional videos and the institution of the United Way's Impact Fund, which ensures donations are filtered back to local organizations.

The fund is designed to allow each United Way sector to pinpoint which areas need the money most in their service area.

In the Mon Valley, donations go through three components of the Impact Fund: Kids Matter, Seniors Matter and Basic Needs Matter.

Kids Matter benefits services to help prevent child abuse and neglect and provide early education and after-school care.

Seniors Matter is geared toward keeping older residents safe and independent.

Basic Needs Matter focuses on helping agencies that assist families in need and working families.

Donors can direct part or all of their donations to the Impact Fund. The money then is allocated to the three sub-categories.

Sparacella said 75 percent of the money received in the current campaign went to the Impact Fund.

United Way officials presented awards to various companies to thank them for their support.

Gold Awards went to businesses that gave more than $10,000; Silver Awards to those that pitched in $5,000 or more and Bronze Awards to companies that gave less than $5,000.

Lee Supply Co. Inc., of Charleroi, won the Pacesetter Award for making the campaign's kick off contribution.

First Federal Savings Bank will kick-off the next campaign.

Monongahela Valley Hospital won the President's Award, which goes to the company that gave the most to the Impact Fund.

California University of Pennsylvania received the Director's Award, which goes to the organization with the largest overall contribution.

The university contributed $34,725.

Lee Supply Co. and National Polymers Inc., of Charleroi, were recognized for having all employees contribute.

World Kitchen Inc., of Charleroi, received an award for the largest increase in employee contributions.

Cal U and the State Correctional Institution-Fayette each received awards for outstanding achievement.

SCI-Fayette's donation was $29,000, a $10,000 increase from last year.

State employees contributed $70,000 to the campaign.

Flexsys America L.P., of Carroll Township, and Charleroi Federal Savings Bank received special recognition for being actively involved with many United Way programs.

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