United Way drive nears halfway point

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- The Lawrence County United Way is nearly halfway to its 2001 fund-raising goal.
At the agency's first reporting meeting of the year held this week, volunteers disclosed that $306,888 has been collected.
"Generally we try to be between 40 and 50 percent at our first reporting meeting. We are at about 43 percent and that's where we want to be," said Ed Bentkowski, campaign chairman.
United Way officials say this year's campaign becomes even more important as the county's 19 United Way agencies start feeling the ripple effects of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Families experiencing job layoffs will likely be using more United Way agency services, they say.
"We support a number of groups and there can be additional calls for assistance to those agencies [because of the effects of the attacks]," Bentkowski said. "We are also looking for donations from companies and employees. As that number dwindles, those who are able to make donations also dwindle. It makes it a little more important that they do donate."
The Lawrence County United Way has set a fund-raising goal of $720,000 by the end of the year. The agency raised $686,767 last year.