EAST LIVERPOOL-Nearly three months into the 2014 campaign, the United Way of Southern Columbiana County already has pledges totalling 50 percent of the fundraising goal, members learned on Thursday.
Campaign Chairman Stephen Sant said that's 20 percent better than the 2013 campaign at this time of year. "We're off to a great start this year," said Sant, president and CEO of Tri-State 1st Banc Inc.
Although United Way officers and members gathered Thursday at the East Liverpool Country Club for the 2014 campaign closing dinner, Sant said much work remains to be done to reach the goal of $110,000.
United Way 2014 Campaign Chairman Stephen Sant accepts a recognition award from board President Diana Allmon during Thursday’s campaign closing dinner at the East Liverpool Country Club. (Photo by Stephen Huba)
"The campaign is a marathon, not a sprint," he said. "Raising money for the United Way takes a full year."
Sant announced that 21 new donors have contributed $6,885 and that Chesapeake Energy has donated $5,000.
"We're hoping that some of the other oil and gas companies that are coming into the area will reach out and give," he said.
United Way Executive Director Diane Johnson said the 2013 campaign made its goal and she's confident the 2014 campaign will do the same. "In the 18 years that I've been doing this, we've always made our goal," she said.
The United Way annual campaign raises most of its money through corporate gifts, employee payroll deductions and one-time contributions. The money raised helps fund the programs of 11 member agencies in East Liverpool, Wellsville and Calcutta.
The member agencies are: the American Red Cross, Boy Scouts 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, the Salvation Army of East Liverpool, Valley Parish Nurse Ministry and Wellsville First Christian Youth Ministries.
Also Thursday, the United Way honored its past 10 board presidents, including current President Diana Allmon.
Other presidents honored were: Cheryl Hinton Byerly (2011-2012), Leigh Ann Arnholt (2010-2011), Craig McCartney (2009-2010), Judy Smit (2008-2009), Cindy Vincent (2007-2008), Karen Biscella (2006-2007), Ann Phillips (2005-2006), Mike Sigler (2004-2005), J. David Buzzard (2003-2004) and Beth Weir (2002-2003).
Johnson said several campaign fundraisers are planned for 2014, including a new one in May.