Special to the Sun-Gazette
"It is a testament to the perseverance of a core of committed people who truly have the best interests of their community at heart and are willing to give of their time, talents and treasure to make it all happen," said a smiling Virgil Probasco upon making the announcement that has been five months in the making.
The subject of Probasco's satisfaction is the achievement of the 2012-13 Lycoming County United Way campaign for which he has served as chairman the past two years.
"Following a careful analysis of what we have collected to date and the remaining potential of what still is outstanding we are conservatively projecting this year's campaign will ultimately raise $1,612,125.
This figure represents an increase of $60,158 above what we raised last year and for the second consecutive year sets a new record high for campaign achievement."
While this ultimate achievement is somewhat tempered by the fact the campaign fell short of its announced $1,723,311 need and goal its recent upward progression can be traced to the work of a dedicated volunteer team and LCUW staff and a growing receptiveness of the organization's mission by campaign contributors.
"It has been a slow, laborious process but the change to the impact model we are now using in allocating funding is achieving a growing acceptance in the community," explained Scott N. Lowery, LCUW executive director. "It is our intention to allocate our donor's dollars to those programs which have been identified as meeting the community's most pressing human service needs. This has resulted in a shifting of funding priorities which has seen 46,379 Lycoming County residents receive vital human services United Way funding makes possible."
"It is our ultimate goal to identify effective programs, involve them in our allocation process, help solve the respective issues and then move on to help others. United Way should not be looked at as a permanent revenue stream for any organization. Needs change and we must be able to adjust accordingly. Based upon our last two campaigns it is evident that donors approve of what we are doing and we are most grateful for their support," Lowery added.
Although Probasco is the first campaign chair to serve in consecutive years in the 90-year history of the local United Way, he is quick to credit the volunteers assembled around him as the reason behind the record-setting campaign.
"It is the members of the Campaign Cabinet that do all the heavy lifting and this year's team has been exceptional. We began planning for the campaign in June and they have remained active every step of the way. Their leadership and the volunteers they've assembled to help make it all a very good team," stressed Probasco.
Although the final tabulations remain yet to be made the County Residential Division was the first to surpass their goal achieving 112 percent of their targeted objective.
"This is the second consecutive year the Division has had a great campaign. Last year, in the face of all the flooding, the residential donors raised a record number. This year they even topped that," said Suellen Porter, division chair. "It is a tribute to both their generosity and concern for the well being of others. I'm really proud of what they have been able to help us achieve."
Although the campaign is coming to a close, those wishing to contribute still may do so by calling the LCUW office at 323-9448 or donating online at www.lcuw.org.