September 23, 2014

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United Way kicks off campaign with day of caring

ELYRIA — Hundreds of volunteers Friday helped United Way of Greater Lorain County kick off its annual fundraising campaign to raise $2.75 million with a Day of Caring on various community projects.After helping others, volunteers descended on the French Creek Nature Center in Sheffield for the Party in the Park cookout.

The party featured a silent auction with items such as tickets to the Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Cavaliers, a $450 diamond ring, a pearl necklace, Waterford crystal, dining certificates and a bed and breakfast certificate.

STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE
Jim Dowdell of Invacare joins Brandon Berkley, 15, of Columbia Township, and Rick Williams of Linking Employment Abilities & Potential on Friday at Invacare. As part of United Way’s Day of Caring, Invacare technicians offered free wheelchair repair.

Gerald Skully, executive director of United Way, said the party was a great way for the community to meet representatives of the agency, which raises millions to help fund 52 programs for 27 partner agencies.

The $2.75 million goal for the 2008 fiscal year is less than the $2.9 million goal for the 2007 fiscal year.

“We didn’t come up to it last year, and that’s why we set a smaller goal,” Skully said.

The high point for United Way was in 1996, when the agency raised $3.9 million.

Since that time, a number of large manufacturers have closed or cut jobs, he said.

United Way of Greater Lorain County is a nonprofit agency that provides funding to partners such as the Red Cross, Nord Center, Lorain County Urban League, Second Harvest Food Bank and many others through public contributions.

Contact Cindy Leise at 653-6250 or cleise@chroniclet.com.