The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties announced during a press conference Thursday that it is within reach of its $3 million fundraising goal for 2011 and appealed to the public for help closing the gap before the end of the year.
Board Chairman Andrew Oppmann stated that "projections and estimates reflect that the campaign efforts are expected to conclude at a little more than $2.9 million, less than $100,000 away from reaching the $3 million goal sought for years to help our communities meet their needs."
A $2.9 million campaign would be historic - the highest campaign total to date in the local United Way's 56 years of existence.
The United Way's campaign thermometer increased from 38 percent last week to 63.7 this week, directly linked to several key campaigns that concluded and recently submitted their totals to United way.
One of those campaigns was General Mills, led by incoming United Way board chairman Pat Murphy. General Mills concluded its campaign with a record-setting $670,000 – a 13 percent increase over its record total last year of $585,000.
Oppmann also noted during the press conference that 1 in 6 families in the community still struggle with hunger issues, that 1 in 3 people draw upon the services that United Way dollars fund, that the money raised during the United Way campaign translates into lives rebuilt and, in many cases, lives saved.
Oppmann also thanked the staff and membership of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce for working with United Way to expand the reach and results from area businesses in this year’s campaign.
United Way's Board of Directors committed to raising another $20,000 toward the gap that has been projected.
"I firmly believe the difference we can make between now and December 31 will come from individuals, people like you and me, who commit to make a difference through their personal gifts," Oppmann said.
Donations may be received online at www.uwrutherford.org, via phone at (615) 893-7303 or in person on the second floor of the FirstBank Building at 615 Memorial Boulevard.