The Lycoming County United Way raised a record $1,531,967 to address local human service needs with its 2011 annual campaign, more than $100,000 more than last year's campaign, officials announced Thursday.
"The heightened awareness and compassion of our donors, both individual and corporate, for the countywide critical missions of LCUW program partners drove the success of this campaign," said Virgil Probasco, campaign chairman. "The people of Lycoming County understand the growing needs of the human service programs and trust United Way to be a good steward of their investments. We are very pleased with these results and we want to thank each and every donor who participated in the campaign."
United Way provides funding for more than 40 programs in Lycoming County that meet the community's most critical needs such as nurturing children, caring for people in crisis, strengthening families, supporting seniors and serving those with special needs. In the end, 97 percent of funds raised stay in Lycoming County.
"With each year's campaign, new stories reflecting the generosity and caring spirit of Lycoming County residents are exhibited. This year, in the face of some difficult times, that heart-warming compassion reached new levels," said Scott N. Lowery, LCUW executive director. "This campaign's achievement exceeded the amount raised in any previous campaign. That is a remarkable effort that would not have been possible without Virgil's leadership and the tremendous effort of our volunteer network."
The United Way board felt a sense of immense relief when it heard of the campaign's successful outcome.
"That's because our campaign raised a record amount in a year marked by economic uncertainty and widespread flooding," said John Brunette, board president.
While the amount raised is the largest in the organization's history, it likely still is not enough to meet the needs of the programs partner's requests, officials said.
"Last year we looked at the amount we had to allocate to our partners and the amount they had requested. The amount we needed to be able to fulfill their requests was $1,708,168 and while we are pleased to have had a campaign increase of about 7 percent over last year, we will likely still not have enough to meet every program's request," Lowery said.
In April, community volunteers will review presentations made by program partners and allocate the funds.