With final reports still pending from several of its campaign divisions and less than $83,000 needed to meet its $1.7 million goal, the United Way of Washington County on Friday opted against closing out its 2013 fundraising drive at midnight in order to allow the divisions more time to bring in their numbers.
“I have no idea what to expect. I’m still hoping and praying,” United Way President and CEO Lester Lattany said the end of the business day Friday. “We have come a long way.”
Since the campaign team’s final report meeting Dec. 18, their margin to the goal has been reduced by approximately $105,000.
By Dec. 31, the original date set for the campaign to be finished, total donations had climbed from to 90 percent of goal. With nine of its 12 divisions yet to report, the United Way extended the deadline to Jan. 17 to coincide with the extended deadline set for the national Combined Federal United Way campaign because of fall’s federal government shutdown.
While the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Mountain Home wrapped up its campaign on schedule Friday with a record high of $77,096 in donations pledged, final reports from eight of the campaign’s division were still out.
“There is still some money out that is supposed to come in,” Lattany said. “We have not closed it. There is still time to finalize this campaign.”
At 5 p.m. Friday, the campaign total was at $1,617,185, or $82,135 short of the $1.7 million goal.
Divisions yet to report included two of the campaign’s strongest contributors, the industrial division, which set its goal at $315,000; and the Financial Division, which set its goal at $275,000. Lattany said the outstanding reports also included one of the county’s largest banks, which traditionally adds a corporate donation to its employee pledges.
“If all these divisions complete their campaigns, or if 50 people on the campaign team encourage one person to give $1,500, we will complete this campaign (over goal) next week,” Lattany said optimistically. “We are going to let it go through next week. Right now we’re at 95 percent.”
Regardless of what happens, Lattany said, “We thank all the companies and all the employees, retirees and individuals who have brought us to the point.
“As we look at the service organizations we partner with, all the educational opportunities, mentoring and skills they provide to children and youth, the stability they give to folks who are without jobs who are not using all the resources we have, and the health care disparity they fill, that’s what allows a community to meet all of its potential and what makes this a stellar community.
“The agencies we partner with do that. And that’s what this is all about. It literally is about an opportunity to touch a lot of lives in our community and help protect our seniors and children and adults.”
More information about the campaign, the local human service agencies it supports and how to contribute may be obtained by calling Lattany at the United Way office at 282-5682 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campaign donations may also be made online at www.unitedwayofwashingtoncountytn.org.