United Way falls short of goal

Although falling short of its goal, the St. Marys Area United Way has succeeded in raising $198,000 as part of its 2010 campaign efforts."Getting to our goal would have been ideal, but the fact that we are able to fund our agencies at the level we raised is gratifying," emphasized Sherron McGowan, executive director. "Our whole mission is to allocate additional funding to the agencies."According to McGowan, the organization chose to raise this year's campaign goal to $205,000 after seeing signs the economy was picking up. In reaching 96 percent of its goal, the United Way will continue to fund 15 local agencies, as well as the Veterans Memorial Eternal Flame located on the Diamond in downtown St. Marys."We had some really great moments in our campaign this year," noted McGowan. Among those moments were bringing in new business donors and new individuals at the leadership level. Additionally, Giant Eagle now works with the organization in bringing the campaign to the public; Giant Eagle shoppers have the opportunity to make a donation while at the grocery store.Local school systems and local banks have also increased their contributions. Ninety percent of United Way funding is allocated to health and human service organizations, which provide support for youth, substance abuse programs, families, disaster relief, health problems and physical and emotional problems. In 2009 the St. Marys Area United Way distributed $181,200. Of that, $161,565 was awarded to community support efforts. The 15 organizations benefiting from the funding were Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, $7,600; American Red Cross-Elk and Cameron counties, $12,000; Boy Scouts, $18,000; Boys and Girls Club of St. Marys, $77,188; CAPSEA, $7,000; Catholic Charities Counseling and Adoption Services, $8,000; Dickinson Mental Health-Project CROSSROADS, $3,500; Elkland Search and Rescue, $1,100; Girl Scouts, $5,432; Guardian Angels, $5,000; Oak Manor, $3,000; St. Marys Community Pool, $1,200; St. Marys Public Library, $2,000; St. Marys Servicemen's Detail, $945; St. Marys Youth Council, $6,400; and Veterans Memorial-Eternal Flame, $2,200.In addition, $2,135 was paid for the United Way of America dues and $18,500 for operating costs.