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Local United Way at 92 percent of its fundraising goal

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By Jesef Williams

United Way of Lancaster County is closing in on its fund raising goal for 2007-08.

The local office has collected more than $367,000 in contributions from individuals, businesses and other groups as of Thursday.

That amount is about 92 percent of the $400,000 goal.

"We're very confident we'll make our goal this year," United Way executive director Denise Keating said. "I feel very positive about where we are right now, especially due to the economic challenges we've had."

The campaign kicked off last fall and ends in April. Nearly 30 companies have donated so far. The campaign pacesetters – Founders Federal Credit Union, KMG America, Nibrol, Springs Memorial Hospital and The Lancaster News – have pledged more than $70,000.

"We want to thank the community for their support and welcome other companies if they want to make a difference," Keating said. "It really helps."

Other company supporters are AbitibiBowater, Alemite, Allen Tate Realtors, Belk, Bi-Lo, city of Lancaster, Comporium, Duke Energy, Procter & Gamble Duracell, First Citizens Bank, First Palmetto Savings Bank, Gerdau Ameristeel, Interface Fabrics, Lancaster County, Lancaster County School District, Morrison Textile Machinery, Soliant, SoTel, Springs Global, The Springs Close Foundation, UPS and the University of South Carolina at Lancaster.

If you or you company are interested in donating, call the local United Way office at 283-8923.

Board update

The United Way's executive board had some members recently step down and some new ones to join.

Newcomers are Bob Rose, Bill Davis, Babette Sabia, Dave Debruycker, Glen Crawford, Donna Robinson, Gene Moore and Sharon Blackburn.

Ashley Shannon, Tina Davis, Marvin Starkes and Kathy Brownlee have stepped off the board.

Following are the officers for the new year:

- Lanny Bernard, chairman

- Steve Sherrill, vice chairman

- Rhonda Fortune, secretary

- Jerry Witherspoon, treasurer

Bernard, who re-joined the board last year, is looking forward to his new role and also what lies ahead this year for United Way.

"I'm excited about the United Way and the partnering agencies that we have," Bernard said. "There are many needs here, and we are trying to meet as many as we can."

Transportation study

The local United Way is sponsoring a transit study to assess local transportation needs and possible options. The study, which is being conducted by URS Corp., will be presented 10:30 a.m. March 26 at the Carole Ray Dowling Center.

Got some United Way stories?

The local United Way wants to hear stories about your involvement with the agency or how it has affected your life. You can share your experience by e-mailing Keating at whatmatters@uwaylcsc.org.

Contact Jesef Williams at 283-1152 or jwilliams@thelancasternews.com