Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Dinner celebrates 2007 fundraising campaign

HUNTINGTON -- Numerous organizations and volunteers were recognized Tuesday evening at Heritage Hall for their efforts in helping the United Way of the River Cities exceed its goal for the 2007 fundraising campaign.

An annual celebration dinner was held on the property of Heritage Farm. During the 2007 campaign, United Way raised more than $1.8 million. The campaign's goal was $1.5 million. Its resources for management totaled to $1.69 million. It also awarded $52,000 last year in venture grants to partner agencies for capital purchases. Money was also set aside for a grant to be given to partner agencies for strategies to address obesity.

Cassey Bowden, director of resource development and marketing, said the annual dinner gives the charity a chance to give back to volunteers and organizations and celebrate their success of fundraising. In addition to exceeding the campaign's goal, she said the group was able to utilize a total of $110,000 in grant funds.

James P. Crouse, vice president of Wells Fargo Insurance, was the 2007 campaign chairman. He said he was extremely pleased with last year's fundraising.

"It was a large group effort in allowing folks to help with the fundraising," he said. "All the money goes back in the Tri-State community in forms of services and programs."

United Way of the River Cities currently supports 33 services and programs such as the Huntington Pediatric Clinic, Huntington Area Food Bank and Boy Scouts. They have approximately 42 volunteers and organizations who contribute the funding.

Taking home the award for the largest amount raised was the Steel of West Virginia/USWA Local 37. The steel company raised more than $87,000 last year. President of the Steel of West Virginia/USWA Local 37 Tim Duke expressed the importance of giving back to the community.

"We have a lot of support in our union and we have been involved with United Way for a number of years," he said. "Our employees were great in donating and recognize that there are a lot of needs out there to be fulfilled."

Duke is also a United Way board member.

"I also think it's very important to give back to the less fortunate because we are able to do it," said Craig Knight, president of the local 37. "I'm just glad we could help."

The Herald-Dispatch

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