United Way announces goal for 2009 campaign

NORWICH – After weighing the economy against community needs, local United Way officials have decided to keep their fundraising goal the same as last year: $465,000.

The 2009 Chenango United Way campaign officially begins Saturday. It runs until Dec. 31.

“We spent the summer talking to local businesses and business leaders, and decided to keep the goal flat,” said Bryne Lewis Alport, campaign director. “We’re trying to balance the impact of the economic slowdown with the increase in need” that’s arisen as a result.

Raising the goal could have been too taxing on those who donate, United Way Executive Director Elizabeth Monaco acknowledges. Lowering it, however, would be harmful to the roughly 30 non-profits that rely on funding from the organization, she said.

“We’re in a time when it’s hard for people to pay their own bills. But there are people in our community that have it even harder, especially now,” said Monaco. “It may be harder to give this year, but it’s also more important to give this year.”

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