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United Way Nearly Doubles Fundraiser Donations In Three Weeks

October 19, 2017

The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties nearly doubled its total donations in under three weeks as part of its annual fundraising drive. The United Way is primarily a fundraising operation that gives annual grants to its member agencies that help residents in Lackawanna and Wayne counties. The fundraising drive began Sept. 7, and by Sept. 27, the organization raised $1,043,959, or 32.6 percent of its $3.2 million goal. As of Tuesday, the United Way’s donations surged to $2,013,422, or 62.9 percent of its goal, after raising almost $1 million in less than three weeks, officials announced Wednesday. The campaign concludes Nov. 16. Although the campaign is doing better than it has in years, there is “still a lot of heavy lifting to do” in the next four weeks, 2017-18 United Way campaign chairman Dan Santaniello said. “We always pick the low-hanging fruit first,” the president and CEO of Fidelity Bank said. “Now the challenge is going to be getting the final dollars in.” Santaniello is optimistic about the remainder of the campaign, especially because many campaigns are still underway but “historically it’s the last-minute push,” he said. “It’s about getting the folks that are on the fence to contribute,” he said. Joyce Tressler, chairwoman of the Special Gifts team in the United Way’s Foundations and Individuals Division, has been involved with the United Way for more than 20 years. The Foundations and Individuals Division is comprised of several teams, including the Alexis de Tocqueville Society for annual gifts of $10,000 or more, the Rhoda Higgins Warren Association for annual gifts of $1,000 or more and the Special Gifts team. Together, the teams raised $281,772, or 96.2 percent of their $293,000 division goal. Tressler attributes the division’s success to generosity in the community. “I think they’re generous, caring, concerned about others and want to help,” she said. “You can’t beat this community.” To donate to the United Way, visit www.uwlc.net. Contact the writer: flesnefsky@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5186