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LCUW campaign raises over $1.5 million

Thanks to thousands of loyal and generous donors, the Lycoming County United Way (LCUW) annual campaign has raised $1,531,967 to address local human service needs, more than $100,000 over last year’s campaign as well as the highest amount in the organization’s history.

“The heightened awareness and compassion of our donors, both individual and corporate, for the county-wide critical missions of LCUW program partners drove the success of this campaign,” said Virgil Probasco, LCUW 2011 campaign chair. “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 nurturing children, caring for people in crisis, strengthening families, supporting seniors, and serving those with special needs. LCUW officials point out that 97% of funds raised stay in Lycoming County.

“This opportunity to serve as campaign chair has been a humbling, yet rewarding experience. We are indebted to the hundreds of volunteers who gave of their time and talents to assist us; and to the thousands who contributed to the campaign. Their efforts and support will truly make a positive difference in the lives of their neighbors all across the county,” added Probasco.

“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 LCUW executive director Scott N. Lowery. “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.”         

 While the amount raised is the largest amount in the organization’s history, LCUW officials point out it is likely still not enough to meet the needs of the programs partner’s requests.

“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% over last year, we will likely still not have enough to meet every program’s request,” explained Lowery. “All programs that receive LCUW funding must demonstrate measureable results. Our volunteers are very thoughtful in how the dollars are allocated. They meet with every program partner to learn about the programs and ensure that the money is invested addressing the most pressing community needs through proven programs. It is never a simple process and we appreciate the volunteers’ efforts in making difficult decisions.”

“Plus, our United Way mission extends beyond the needs of our program partners. Recent community needs assessment surveys have identified areas of concern that we are addressing though our Impact Funding Initiative,” added Lowery. 

When Virgil Probasco announced to our board that Lycoming County United Way raised $1,531,967, there was a sense of both great accomplishment as well as immense relief. That’s because our campaign raised a record amount in a year marked by economic uncertainty and wide-spread flooding,” stated John Brunette, LCUW board president. “This positive campaign outcome speaks volumes about the character of Lycoming County residents. Just about every division in the campaign increased total giving over last year. This includes the geographic areas which were flooded most severely. It’s almost as if the flood served as a real life example that each of us may need a hand up when situations, beyond our control, affect our lives and also exceed our personal resources. The increase in generosity we experienced seems to coincide with the lessons we learned from the flood. Indeed, this is the mission of the United Way; neighbor helping neighbor and in doing so raising the quality of life for everyone. While the needs of our community vary greatly, the metaphor illustrated by the flood points out that life can take twists and turns which are unexpected and carry devastating consequences. These are the occasions when United Way supported services can make a difference by filling needs for which there are no other resources available.”

 “I don’t have the appropriate words to thank Virgil Probasco for the tenacity and spirit with which he led the campaign volunteers to this year’s success. He did an amazing job. As board president, I also want to recognize the efforts of our staff. They are the glue that keeps the operation together. Day in and day out it is the Lycoming County United Way staff which carry through on the organization’s goals,” concluded Brunette. “Our board is fortunate to have these dedicated folks. So now for the second year in a row we have exceeded our all time campaign achievements. This is a trend we want to keep going.” 

In April, community volunteers will review presentations made by program partners and allocate the funds available.

 To make a contribution, for more information, or to volunteer for funds distribution, contact Lycoming County United Way, One West Third Street, Suite 208; Williamsport, PA 17701, call 323-9448, visit www.development.lcuw.org or look for the organization on Facebook .

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