United Way reaches 70 percent of goal

PLATTSBURGH - As the year draws to a close, so do the days to make a tax-deductible contribution to the 2008-09 fundraising campaign for the United Way of Clinton and Essex Counties Inc.

Denton Publications owner and publisher Daniel E. Alexander, chairman of the local United Way's 2008-09 fundraising campaign team, reported that in the final weeks of the campaign - which ends Jan. 31 - the organization is still 30 percent short of its $700,000 goal.

In the spirit of the holiday season, Alexander asked the community to dig a little deeper into their pockets for the less fortunate.

"No matter your situation, we all know that this time of year is one for thinking of others and giving from the heart," said Alexander. "I have always found that any money I've ever given to a better need than my own, somehow seems to get replaced."

John C. Bernardi, executive director of the local United Way, said the campaign team has been working diligently to pursue new donors and working with existing ones to increase their contributions for what has been a turbulent year for the economy.

"The needs are so tremendous right now that it's just imperative that we're successful," said Bernardi. "This community has a history of stepping up to the plate and showing us a great deal of caring and compassion for friends and neighbors. We're confident that's going to be the case again this year."

The economy, while it's had its ups and downs, has had both a positive and negative effect on fundraising efforts, he added.

"We're seeing a mixed bag this year," said Bernardi. "We're seeing people struggling to participate but then we're also seeing some people who are giving more this year because they understand the needs are so great."

The majority of the community, Bernardi continued, understands the importance of the critical services provided by the partner agencies the United Way benefits, many of which the public may not realize the nonprofit organization helps.

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