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United Way $50,000 short of campaign goal with month to go

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The United Way of Johnson County has about a month left to raise nearly $50,000, otherwise it will have less money to support helping organizations, such as Girls Inc. and Johnson County Senior Services.

The United Way had hoped to raise $1,488,000 during its annual fundraising campaign, which concludes with a celebration next month. The goal is an increase of about 3.5 percent over the $1,436,000 that was raised last year, executive director Nancy Plake said.

The fundraising goal was set after the 20 agencies supported by the United Way submitted the budgets they needed to keep their programs running, Plake said. That money typically is raised by companies and employees of area businesses who give a portion of their pay, but this year businesses haven’t been able to raise as much money as they had hoped, Plake said.

If the United Way isn’t able to meet the fundraising goal, then the agency’s board of directors will have to decide whether to reduce the amount given to the 20 agencies or whether to reduce the United Way’s operating budget, Plake said.

“We are reaching out to the community and asking individuals, companies or organizations if they haven’t made a pledge or gift yet, please do so. Every donation, small or large, will help us toward meeting the goal,” campaign chairwoman Stephanie Wagner said.

Individuals can make contributions to the United Way, and officials would like all donations to be submitted about one week before the annual celebration March 20, Plake said.

“There’s still hope that we’ll be able to make it,” Plake said.

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