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United Ways nearing goals

by Gail Marsh

ASSISTANT CITY EDITOR

Despite the arrival of the holidays, United Way chapters across North Central West Virginia are continuing to raise money to meet their fund-raising goals.

Monongalia County is the only United Way from the area that has already met its goal, which was slightly higher than last year's mark. The agency announced Tuesday that it had raised $1,111,111, said Rob Shaw, computer and information specialist in Morgantown.

"The campaign chair picked that amount because it emphasized that every '1' is needed to make it happen," he said.

Money donated to the United Way in Monongalia County supports more than 20 agencies during the year, including Morgantown Health Right, which is the largest recipient. Health Right offers medical care to residents who can't afford it or don't have insurance.

"They're one of the most active agencies we have, and the need is growing every year for the services they offer," Shaw said.

Marion County United Way has currently raised about 72 percent of the money needed to reach its goal. Dave Elkinton, executive director, said the chapter will continue to do fund-raising until the spring.

"We're actually a little ahead of last year at this point in time. And we'll continue to raise money until at least early spring," he said.

Elkinton said the agency receiving the most support from the United Way in Marion County is Hope Inc., the domestic violence shelter. Link, the county's information and referral service, also receives a large portion, he said.

"We support a number of other programs, too, that deal with the homeless, provide meals or support youth and senior citizen programs," he said.

Other counties and their current fund-raising efforts include Harrison at 81 percent, Lewis at 87 percent and Randolph at 71 percent. Officials at the Upshur County United Way could not be reached for comment.

Assistant City Editor Gail Marsh can be reached at 626-1447 or by e-mail at gmarsh@exponent-telegram.com.

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