The Bradford community proved yet again its residents are champions of generosity with the overwhelming conclusion to the United Way’s 2014 local campaign.
Area residents and businesses accepted the challenge to Be a Champion and helped the United Way of the Bradford Area (UWBA) raise more than $357,000. At 90 percent of its original $345,000 goal with only one month left in the agency’s major fundraiser, a prodigious push to wrap the campaign allowed the final tally to climb well past a mark UWBA officials called “ambitious.”
“It was an ambitious goal,” said campaign co-chairperson Lisa Minich, “but we knew the community could do this.”
Co-chairperson Jeannine Schoenecker said, “We live in a community that is exceptionally generous and one that is, clearly, also up for a challenge. We increased this year’s goal by roughly 5 percent and not only did we meet that, we exceeded it by another nearly 4 percent.”
United Way of the Bradford Area Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis expressed her appreciation to those who were a crucial part of the 2014 appeal.
“There were so many who played an integral part in our office being able to make this significant announcement, from co-chairpersons Lisa (Minich) and Jeannine (Schoenecker) and our campaign cabinet, to our board of directors and contributing agencies.
“Every division of the campaign exceeded its respective goal,” Davis said. “We saw tremendous growth in the Education, Oil and Gas and Business divisions.”
Minich added, “The Corporate and Corporate Employee divisions really came through with increases seen from a majority of donors. Our community made a collective decision to be a champion, but our neighbors in need are the real winners.”
Davis explained that as a result of this particularly successful campaign, the UWBA was able to allocate more funds to local agencies through the request for proposal (RFP) process, as three new agencies became partners.
“Where we will see the most impact is through our quarterly grant allocations from the Community Innovations and Community Impact funding streams,” Davis continued. “This is wonderful because it will allow some local agencies that are not eligible for RFP funding to receive much-needed dollars that will allow them to maintain existing or implement new programs and services.”
The group’s celebration of its successful Be a Champion campaign will be short-lived, Davis said, as it is already making preparations for 2015.
“2015 is the 90th anniversary of the UWBA in our community, so we are looking at making this year even more special,” Davis remarked.