United Way surpasses last year’s campaign results

For the first time in five years, the Lycoming County United Way exceeded its previous year’s campaign results.

The organization is projecting donations totaling $1,249,606 for Lycoming County. Last year, the campaign raised $1,152,371, it reported.

Sullivan County raised about $39,592 and Tioga County, about $25,343. Those sums, combined with Lycoming County, brings the projected achievement for the tri-county campaign to $1,314,541.

However, numbers will continue to be totaled until funds are distributed.

Ronald A. Frick, president of Lycoming County United Way, said the organization has raised about $100,000 more than it did last year, with the majority of the increase coming from Lycoming County.

“(It) is pretty phenomenal, given the challenges we started with,” he said. “We started late because of floods, hurricanes and everything else, and we still raised about $100,000 more than last year.”

He said the additional money will help all the programs United Way supports.

“It’s exciting, and it means we will give more (money) away. We get the whole allocations process started in April, and the actual distribution of the funding will take place and be approved by our board in May,” he said. “The programs will get the benefit, and that’s a win for everyone.”

The organization tried to reach as many donors in the community as possible.

“That was the charge when I first came in, (to) let the community know the United Way still has relevancy in the community. The programs really matter in the community,” he said. “The goal is just to get in front of more people and talk about the value of the organization.”

He said the community truly stepped up to the task of helping: “I’m never disappointed by this community. This is a very caring and generous community.”

Frick said 97 percent of the money raised stays in the selected local counties while 3 percent goes to United Way worldwide.

“The result is the combined effort of volunteers in Lycoming, Sullivan and Tioga counties who have worked very hard to attain this remarkable achievement, despite a very tumultuous year in our country,” said Rob Glunk, president/CEO at The Muncy Bank and Trust Co. and this year’s campaign chairman. “Despite, hurricanes, flood, fires and human tragedy, our residents stepped up and helped us help those who need it most in our own communities.”

With the help of Steve and Mary Ann Johnson, along with other UPMC Susquehanna employees, United Way started a disaster recovery fund for the first time, Frick said. With states such as Texas and Florida being challenged this year, Frick said it’s good to be prepared for relief.

“We understand there’s national disasters, but there’s a possibility that could happen here. We started to establish more of a natural disaster recovery fund. We didn’t get a huge response, but … We were thrilled we got a few donors to make a commitment to start us down the path of making a disaster recovery fund,” he said.

For more information, visit www.lcuw.org.