As the Lycoming County United Way battles to meet an ambitious fundraising goal of $1,723,311, it was fitting that the people who make such goals reachable volunteers were recognized recently.
There was a little bit of everything at the Volunteer Appreciation Night.
A woman told how agency programs funded through United Way helped her overcome diabetes and near blindness and moved her to get her GED.
Valiant Volunteer Awards were handed out to three stalwarts in the United Way campaign Vince Noviello of Wirerope Works, Orion Behrer of the Tech Group Williamsport, and Kendall Simon of Stallion Oilfield Services. All have been instrumental in raising giving to the United Way through in-house campaign work or inventive ideas.
The Douglas Shangraw Award, presented annually to a campaign volunteer who best exemplifies the community spirit of the late Mr. Shangraw, was presented to Ed Blair of the Kellogg Co. Blair has been the guiding force behind a campaign there that has raised a record $185,000 this year.
Three middle school students read their inspiring award-winning essays chosen from the 449 submitted in a contest sponsored by the United Way and the Sun-Gazette.
Virgil Probasco, who is volunteer chairman of the campaign for a second year, said collections have topped $1 million in the current campaign. There is much more to be collected if the goal is to be met.
But if the spirit in the auditorium at the awards night can be extended through the community, meeting the goal is possible.