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United Way aims high – Kickoff set for Sept. 6

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By Todd Cohen

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The Triangle United Way aims to raise nearly $26.8 million in this fall’s annual campaign, an increase of 7 percent from the record-high $25 million raised last year.

Last year’s total reflected an 11.9 percent increase from 1998.

Citing an early “pacesetter” campaign at CP&L, United Way President Tom Dugard characterizes as “aggressive” this year’s goal, which the United Way board set on Aug. 22.

The CP&L drive, which aimed this summer to raise 3 percent more than last year, has generated $546,412, up 6 percent from last year.

Molly Corbett Broad, president of the University of North Carolina system, is chair of this year’s campaign, which kicks off Sept. 6 at 7:30 a.m. at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Raleigh.

Chairing this year’s local county campaigns are: Durham, Ann Denlinger, superintendent, Durham Public Schools; Orange, Carl Fox, Orange County district attorney, and Valier Stafford-Fox, research project manager, Schering Oncology Biotech; and Wake, Ray Champ, chief executive officer, WakeMed.

While Dugard anticipates a robust campaign, he cautions that giving could be tough at some companies facing workforce consolidation because of mergers with out-of-state firms. Glaxo Wellcome, for example, is merging with SmithKline Beecham in Philadelphia, while CCB is merging with National Commerce Bancorporation in Memphis.

Dugard says this year’s campaign would be the first in which the United Way aggressively encouraged donors to direct their dollars among six priority issues for which investment plans have been developed by United Way volunteers and agencies.

Those issues are early childhood, youth, families, senior citizens, health and wellness and self-sufficiency.

Donors also may designate that their funds go to any of more than 300 agencies, including 81 United Way member agencies. The number of member agencies has grown by four as a result of the new issue-based funding process.

Donors also may make contributions using the United Way’s Web site at www.unitedwaytriangle.org.

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