Campaign sets high goals

Published 8:22 am Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Nicole Shute starts the line off for pizza late Tuesday morning as the Mower County chapter of the United Way kicks off its 2012 campaign at the Mill Pond pavilion. Eric Johnson/

United Way announces $1.2M goal at kickoff event

The United Way of Mower County thanked its community and generous donors on Tuesday at its 2013 campaign kickoff and announced next year’s fundraising goal.

People coming to celebrate the Mower County chapter of the United Way's 2012 kick-off late Tuesday morning enjoy the pleasant, if not windy - morning beside the pavillion at Mill Pond.

While the local United Way fell about $150,000 short of its 2012 goal of $1.1 million, according to Executive Director Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt, the organization is refocusing its efforts and asking for $1.2 million.

“It’s a stretch goal for us,” Lighthizer-Schmidt said. She hopes pushing for a little extra will cover the extra fund requests the United Way received last year but was not able to meet.

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“Obviously, we are grateful for all of the support we get, whether we meet that goal or not,” she added.

United Way supporters and the public enjoyed the celebration Tuesday at Mill Pond with free pizza and cake during what is also United Way’s 125th anniversary nationally.

Melissa Riles cuts the cake celebrating not only the 2012 campaign kickoff for the Mower County chapter of the United Way but also the 125th anniversary for the United Way nationwide.

“This is a little different,” Lighthizer-Schmidt said about this year’s event, as most campaign kickoffs are held at the Hormel Historic Home with a guest speaker. “But since it is the 125th anniversary, we thought it would be a fun way to celebrate that.”

The United Way has been in Mower County for 58 years and serves the community by raising funds for special initiatives that have a positive impact.

Lighthizer-Schmidt said info about the campaign and fund requests have been sent to area businesses and past supporters and should have already appeared in the mail.