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Whiteside United Way campaign on way to its goal

Pledges hit 40 percent of $710,000 sought

STERLING – Supporters of the United Way of Whiteside County learned Friday morning that the organization was well on its way to reaching its fundraising goal this campaign season.

The United Way sponsored a Breakfast Before Business meeting Friday at the Whiteside County Senior Center in Sterling.

Chris Mitchell reported the total raised, as of Thursday, was $290,100.

The fund-raising goal, which organizers hope to reach by March, is $710,000, said Russ Siefken, executive director of the United Way.

The United Way helps organizations such as the American Red Cross Lincoln Land Branch, Big Brothers/ Big Sisters and Blackhawk Area Council Boy Scouts.

During the breakfast, members also received updates on other programs and initiatives that are part of United Way’s campaign.

Nathan Fellows, chairman of the youth division for this year’s United Way campaign, shared information about the drive to collect a million pennies at area schools.

Classrooms in Sterling, Rock Falls, Morrison, Tampico and Prophetstown have blue water jugs to hold donated pennies. Students also were given small bags to collect them, Fellows said.

Sterling Federal Bank counts the pennies regularly. There are 185 jugs in schools across the area.

Betty Clementz, chairwoman of the United Way Power of the Purse committee, reported that $11,000 had been raised at the event in September. Power of the Purse raised money for Literacy is Fun for Everyone, which donates books to local children.

Also during the meeting, Carol Fitzgerald, executive director of the YWCA of the Sauk Valley, invited members to attend Pancakes for Peace. The event is part of YWCA Week Without Violence. 

Winners of its peace poetry contest will be announced.

The pancake breakfast will be served from 8 to 10 a.m. Oct. 20 at the YWCA, 412 First Ave., Sterling.

YWCA of the Sauk Valley is a member agency of the United Way. 

In 2011, United Way of Whiteside County surpassed its goal by nearly $24,000 when it raised $723,809.

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