EAST LIVERPOOL - Despite a down economy, Diane Johnson is hopeful that the United Way of Southern Columbiana County will meet its fundraising goal for the 2012-13 campaign.
"It's going to be a tough one," said Johnson, executive director of the United Way. "We've lost a couple businesses. People are retiring. Businesses are losing people. ... But I just keep plugging away."
The goal for this year's campaign is the same as last year's - $110,000. That money will help fund the programs of 13 member agencies in East Liverpool, Wellsville and Calcutta.
Buddy Robinson, manager of the Calcutta Giant Eagle, presents a $3,078 check to Debbie Koffel, chairwoman of the United Way of Southern Columbiana County’s 2012-2013 campaign, at the campaign kickoff luncheon on Friday. The money was raised at the store’s July 3 hoagie sale. (Photo by Stephen Huba)
The United Way kicked off its 2012-13 campaign at noon Friday with an awards ceremony and luncheon at the East Liverpool Motor Lodge. The official campaign ends Nov. 16, Johnson said, but the fundraising will continue well into 2013.
Last year's campaign is at about 95 percent of its goal and should reach its goal by the end of the year, Johnson said. "If companies do employee payroll deductions, they're not going to get all that money until the end of the year," she said.
In addition to the annual campaign, the United Way holds five fundraisers during the year. Among those are the Fall Craft Show on Oct. 20 and the Twelve Gifts of Christmas Raffle on Dec. 6. Tickets for the raffle are $1 and can be purchased at any United Way member agency.
Speaking at Friday's luncheon, 2012-13 campaign Chairwoman Debbie Koffel praised the agencies and their work.
"I know when I sat through budget meetings, I was totally astounded with what all these agencies do," Koffel said. "Our 13 agencies are counting on us to reach this goal. It's a lot of money, but with your help, we will reach it."
The member agencies are: the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts of America Buckeye Council, Camp Fire USA Tayanoka Council, Catholic Charities Senior Citizen Center (Ceramic City), Christina House, East Liverpool YMCA, Family & Community Services Inc., Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, Valley Parish Nurse Ministry, Wellsville First Christian Youth Ministries, Quad City Meals on Wheels, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, and the Salvation Army of East Liverpool.
The United Way annual campaign raises most of its money through corporate gifts, employee payroll deductions and one-time contributions, Johnson said.
Companies contributing $5,000 or more received Gold Awards on Friday: Chesapeake Energy, Ergon Inc., FirstEnergy, Giant Eagle and the Homer Laughlin China Co.
Companies contributing $2,000-$5,000 received Silver Awards: 1st National Community Bank, Heritage-WTI Inc. and Home Savings Bank.
Companies contributing $1,000-$2,000 received the Bronze Award: DPS Penn, Elks Lodge No. 258, Grand Ford, the Hot Dog Shoppe, J.C. Penney Co., Nisource Columbia Gas and The Review.
To arrange an employee presentation or make a contribution, call the United Way at 330-385-2082. Send contributions to: United Way of Southern Columbiana County, P.O. Box 646, East Liverpool, OH 43920.