Meeting the growing human service needs of Lycoming County residents is no small task.
It requires tremendous effort, monumental teamwork and sincere dedication to the community. Overseeing that effort requires skilled leaders who inspire others to get involved and do their best.
Dr. James Campbell and Virgil Probasco are two such community leaders who "live united" and they have volunteered to lead the 2010 Lycoming County United Way annual campaign as chair and co-chair, respectively.
Virgil Probasco, left, executive vice president of Wirerope Works Inc., and Dr. James Campbell, president of Hope Enterprises Inc., will act as the co-chair and chair, respectively, for the Lycoming County United Way’s annual campaign this year.
Together, they are the driving force behind hundreds of volunteers assisting with the campaign in a multitude of capacities.
Campbell, president of Hope Enterprises Inc., becomes the first CEO of a human service program funded by United Way to lead the annual fundraising effort in the organization's 89-year history.
He has been involved with the local United Way branch since 1986.
"As an employee of one of the programs funded by United Way, I am grateful for the opportunity to help with the campaign in this capacity because we can accomplish more working together than any single group can on its own," Campbell said. "I feel my first-hand knowledge of the financial needs of the human service community will provide a unique perspective to this critical fundraising effort.
"I volunteer for United Way because I believe in a unified approach to charitable giving. I want to encourage our friends and neighbors in Lycoming County to not just 'live united' but also to 'give united,' " he added.
"The United Way umbrella includes a broad reach of human service providers whose work is critical to the well being of our extended community," he said. "I have tried to volunteer whenever possible in wanting to give back to our community. I have always enjoyed helping others in need. My entire career has been about helping others and I wouldn't change that for anything. It is very rewarding to me to think that somewhere, somehow, I have been a small part of making someone's life better.
"We are very pleased that Virgil Probasco, executive vice president of Wirerope Works Inc., has accepted the position as vice chair of the 2010 campaign. His decades of United Way experience and volunteer work will be a valuable asset to our efforts. Virgil's track record of providing leadership and helping others is to be commended. I look forward to working with him," Campbell said.
Probasco's United Way involvement has a long and successful history.
"I began working with United Way in the 1960s while working with Bethlehem Steel and have helped out in several communities during my career," Probasco said. "I served on the (local United Way) Board of Directors in the early 2000s and have always promoted United Way in our workplace and the surrounding community.
"I was honored when Jim and Scott (Lowery, executive director of the United Way) asked me to join the campaign team," he said. "I can't think of a better way to help so many people than with this united appeal."
Campbell and Probasco will be assisted in the leadership of the campaign effort by a team of volunteers comprising the Lycoming County United Way Campaign Cabinet.
The 11 member-group includes division chairs: Darin Aldrich, Kellogg's, corporations chair; Amy Dowling, Citizens & Northern Bank, county chair; Mary Engel, community volunteer, Williamsport residential chair; Ron Frick, M&T Bank, Peter Herdic chair; Christina Herman, Loyalsock Township School District, education chair; Allen Kiessling, Merrill Lynch, employee chair; Dr. Oscar Knade, community volunteer, past chair; Chris Plankenhorn, Plankenhorn's Stationary, small business chair; Ron Reynolds, Susquehanna Health, professional chair; Lori Strimple, Jersey Shore Bank, loaned executive chair; and Brian Toseki, state Department of Transportation, public service chair.