United Way ‘in a very good position’ with fundraising campaign

Published 6:41 am Monday, February 15, 2010

The United Way of Mower County is still receiving donations, even though the campaign season has ended.

As of Dec. 16, the United Way fundraising campaign had raised $864,163 — 95 percent of their goal. While the final numbers of the campaign won’t be released until the April 13 annual meeting and victory party, Executive Director Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt said the United Way surpassed 95 percent.

“We are in a very good position right now,” she said.

Uncertainty surrounded the start of the campaign, as the United Way kept the campaign goals even with last year’s goal. Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt said it was difficult to ask people to give more because of the state of the economy.

“When we started this year, we really didn’t know what was going to happen,” she said. “The economic picture was bleak.”

Yet, the community exceeded many expectations. Much of the money comes through workplace campaigns, and Quality Pork Producers donated a record amount to the campaign with $150,021 — about $30,000 more than the company’s goal.

The United Way will accept donations until April 13, but they’re no long soliciting donations at businesses.

About 70 percent of United Way programs in the county rely exclusively on local fundraising. All funds raised in Mower County stay in Mower County to address local problems.