The Lycoming County United Way's annual dinner last week celebrated a record fundraising campaign that will benefit all of its program partners who meet vital human services needs.
But the event's high points showed that there is a lot of heart and soul connected to the key number $1.55 million collected.
A testimonial about North Central Sight Services from Steven Britton, a man who suddenly went blind several years ago, underscored the value of each of the program partners that benefit from United Way funding.
Those partners serve young and old, victims of disaster, those trapped in domestic abuse or literacy shortcomings, emergencies or homelessness, just to name part of the menu of services.
The honoree of the night, Douglas C. Dickey Humanitarian Award winner George S. Tsunis, was an impassioned example of what people with the know-how and the means can do for a community. He spoke about his dreams.
"I believe the people in this room will end hunger in Lycoming County," he told the 232 people in attendance, the largest crowd ever to attend the dinner. "I believe the people in this room will end homelessness in Lycoming County."
Virgil R. Probasco, who was campaign chairman for the record fundraising effort, spoke of the teamwork on all levels, involving more than a thousand volunteers.
The genuine modesty and determination to credit everyone else embody the kind of spirit that moves a county forward for the good of all its people. And that's supposed to be what the fundraising is all about, beyond numbers and records and dollars.