- Rick McCrabb Staff Writer
This year’s campaign goal of $1,260,000 is “pretty hefty” considering the financial climate in the region, the Middletown United Way campaign chair admits.
The goal is just above last year’s $1.2 million mark that saw $1,314,000 raised by the end of the campaign.
Denise Quinn, plant manager of MillerCoors in Trenton and United Way campaign chair, called the goal “a little bit of a stretch.”
Middletown Area United Way Director Terry Sherrer said two local businesses — Contech and Wassau Papers — have new ownership this year and that has impacted the giving by their employees.
“Getting them aboard the United Way train,” Sherrer said.
Besides those companies, Sherrer said United Way officials need to contact individuals, retirees and company executives.
He stressed that United Way money generated in the Middletown area remains in the community. The area, Sherrer said, “needs a boost right now.”
Sherrer, beginning his fifth United Way campaign, said the goal is set after reviewing the financial proposals submitted by agencies served by the United Way. The goal, he said, is to “match the needs” of the organizations.
Quinn said the United Way is targeting three areas: education, financial stability and health.
“The only way we can make the type of leaps we want to make is if we are able to raise that type of funding,” Quinn said of the goal.
Quinn said when she was approached by Sherrer about serving as campaign chair she was “a tough sale.” But now, she said, the role has turned out to be an “invaluable experience” because of the business leaders and United Way staff she has met.
Last year was the sixth consecutive year the Middletown campaign surpassed its goal. It fell short just once, in 2010, since 1986, according to United Way financial records. In 2010, the United Way raised $21,873 less than its $1.2 million goal.
Three Middletown businesses — Central Connections, Cohen Recycling and the Middletown Community Foundation — were recognized as Pacemakers because they completed their campaigns early.