Area Wide United Way's 2003 campaign kicks off

Friday, August 29, 2003

The 2003 Area Wide United Way campaign goal of $935,000 was announced Thursday at Cape West 14 Cine during the annual campaign kickoff event that featured bratwurst and the blues.

Although the nation's economy was described as questionable, Cape Girardeau County's economy was cited as good. The United Way's 49th campaign is chaired by Don Fisher, director of business development at Southeast Missouri Hospital.

Fisher stated, "Local agencies are experiencing decreased funding from state and federal government at the same time the demand for their services is increasing."

He thanked business leaders for allowing their employees to promote and support United Way and those in attendance were asked for support by posing as United Way ambassadors.

"Ask your doctor, your hair stylist or your neighbor," suggested Fisher.

People were encouraged to examine their personal situations and their capacity for giving -- realizing the quality of life all enjoy.

More than 200 volunteers are involved in the 2003 campaign effort. More than $13 million regionally has been raised through campaigns since the United Way began its work locally in 1954.

Ushered in by Cape Girardeau police officers, the Blues Brothers, Dan Berry and Jeff Crain, stole the show providing entertainment with their own versions of "Soul Man," encouraging givers to write a check and make it big and "give me, give me some Money," instead of "lovin."

The crowd feasted on brats, wieners and potato salad provided by Old Bavarian Sausage. Owner Brigitte Bollerslev feels her donation to United Way is important because, "Nobody is able to do something by themselves. We need the group. Together we can accomplish this goal."

The campaign concluded in a darkened theater so guests could view the good news of how the United Way changes lives. Personal stories of individual's lives were revealed, sharing their gratefulness for the help they received via agencies supported by the United Way.

The 2003 goal is $6,000 above last year's goal that was surpassed by more than $34,000.

The United Way supports 45 programs and 32 agencies in Southeast Missouri. Those funded programs actively help people in crisis, provide services to seniors, promote health and self-sufficiency and build strong families and successful children all within the community.

For more information about the local United Way, visit www.areawideunitedway.org or call 334-9634.

cpagano@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 133

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